Dwayne Allen's 4.89 Combine 40: damaging flop, or insignificant aberration?

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson's Dwayne Allen runs after making a catch against Wake Forest.

Clemson's Dwayne Allen runs after making a catch against Wake Forest.

How badly did Dwayne Allen damage his draft status when he ran an unimpressive 4.89 seconds in the 40-yard dash during workouts at the NFL Combine on Saturday?

The folks in various NFL front office positions will have the final say.

Meanwhile, in the heavily populated world of NFL observers and bloggers, the opinions were all over the map.

National Football Post tabbed Allen as its Saturday workout ‘loser:’

“It wasn’t a great performance from Allen who posted a 40-time of nearly 4.9. Plus, he wasn’t real explosive in either of the jumps and look pretty average as an athlete during positional drills. Now, he is a coordinated pass catcher who can adjust to the football. However, Allen simply isn’t a real dynamic type athlete in any area of the game.”

Analysis at NFL.com took a very different view:

“I thought Clemson’s Dwayne Allen, Oklahoma’s James Hanna and Missouri’s Michael Egnew really cemented themselves as being more than capable to play in the NFL. Their numbers in the drills were phenomenal, and both of them did a good job catching passes.

Dwayne Allen looked better in the drills than he did in the 40-yard dash. He timed slow, but Allen is a bigger guy who blocks well and has excellent body control which is his strength. He’s still a fringe first round prospect.”

FB Nation expressed some reservations about Allen’s ability as a run blocker, but gave him high marks for his pass catching skills:

“Allen’s has three assets that make him a great football player, which are his height, his strength, and his good hands. Allen’s height is an asset; because it allows him to pull down passes out of the air, and allows him to stretch out further to catch misguided or low thrown passes.

“Allen weights 255 pounds and bench-pressed 225 pounds for an impressive 27 reps at the scouting combine. Allen’s strength allows him to bulldoze through defending tacklers after making catches, allowing him to gain many yards after the catch.

“Allen’s hands are an asset because is able to easily guide the football into his hands, and allow him to focus getting down the field.”

On the other hand, from RotoWorld:

“It's a disappointing time for a projected early day-two pick. While Allen impressed on the bench (27 reps), he underwhelmed in the jumps (9-foot-2 broad, 32-inch vertical), and his forty time has historically been bested by some linemen. Allen's pass-catching ability is considered a strength, but his measurables do not indicate explosiveness. He may fall to round three or four.”

So what were Allen’s number’s, exactly?

According to official data posted at NFL.com, Allen’s grade on the workout portion of the Combine’s battery of tests, interviews and drills was 87.0 – best among the three tight ends considered to be at the top of the NFL draft lists.

Stanford’s Coby Fleener chose not to run the 40-yard dash, and had an overall grade of 85.2. Georgia’s Orson Charles, likewise, passed on the 40-yard dash and had an overall grade of 79.0.

Allen was rated as one of the tight end group’s top performers in the 20-yard shuttle (4.37 seconds), the bench press (27 reps) and the three-cone drill (7.12). He also had solid, though unspectacular, marks in the vertical jump (32 inches), the broad jump (110 inches) and the 60-yard shuttle (12.07 seconds).

Also working out on Saturday was Clemson offensive lineman Antoine McClain, who finished with an overall 57.5 grade.

McClain’s marks: 5.57 in the 40-yard dash, 8.13 seconds in the three-cone drill, 4.82 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle, 27.0 inches in the vertical jump, 91.0 inches in the broad jump, and 19 reps in the bench press.

Three more Tigers will go through their ‘measurables’ testing on Monday – defensive end Andre Branch and defensive tackles Brandon Thompson and Rennie Moore.

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