We're starting our much-ballyhooed series on potential Falcons draft picks with a name you draftniks are already familiar with. That name?
Okay, so it's not a name that strikes fear into anyone. It is, however, the name of a hulking, athletic tight end with enormous upside. The name of a Clemson man with 50 catches for nearly 600 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. The name.
I chose Allen because our sister draft site Mocking the Draft has picked him to head to the Falcons with the 23rd pick in the second round. His name has come up repeatedly in pierreo2's mock drafts FanPosts, as well, so I decided to do a little investigation.
The short version: Allen would be a nice fit. He's got some growing to do as a player, but he wouldn't be a full-time starter in 2012 because of Tony Gonzalez, anyways. At 6'4" and about 235, he's built like a big, bulky receiver, which he basically is. He's a fine blocker who needs to add a little weight to really excel in that role in the NFL. He's one of the better tight ends coming out in the draft in 2012, and the Falcons could potentially sole their future tight end woes now by getting him.
The longer version: While Allen's a nice fit, the Falcons have more pressing needs on both lines. I really would like to see the Falcons take on a high-upside tight end later in the draft who can sit and learn for a year or two while pulling down the occasional snaps when the Falcons want to give two tight end looks. Heck, I'd like Allen, but the team should be looking to upgrade at left tackle, right guard or end come April. Unless they can identify some true steals they feel really confident they'll get, Allen's a (well-rounded, talented) luxury.
Your thoughts on Allen?