At arguably the deepest single position in the draft, the Falcons nabbed the small ballhawk from Purdue, Ricardo Allen, with the 147th selection. Like the Southward pick, the Falcons valued durability and experience, as Allen played 50 games in college. Since 2000, no Big Ten player has returned more interceptions for TDs than Allen’s 4. His 13 total INTs are 5th among Big Ten players over the same timeframe. Simply put, he produces.
At 5-9, 187, he may not be tasked with duty as a primary corner, but I do think his nose for the ball and instincts in coverage will get him some playing time on defense. Normally teams are looking for lottery tickets, special teams players, and long-term projects in the 5th. In this draft, the Falcons got a 3rd round talent in the 5th. He didn’t slide – it’s just the nature of an incredibly deep draft. Allen has slot corner starting potential, and could get some rotational work this year.
Bottom Line: The Falcons were able to wait to grab one of the many, many talented corners in this draft, and seem to have gotten great value with the pick.
Likely 2014 role: Backup CB
Likely long term role: Slot/nickel CB
What it means for the 2014 Falcons: Depth in the secondary.