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  1. #1
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    Secret Superstar - Dwayne Allen

    Following a 2-14 season in 2011, the Indianapolis Colts were in need of offensive weapons. Peyton Manning had been the lifeblood of the franchise for a decade and it was clear the talent around him had degraded over time. GM Ryan Grigson addressed the problem head-on, using six of the Coltsí first seven draft picks on offensive skill positions. Those six would combine to set rookie records for passing yards (4,374) and total yards from scrimmage (3,108), and propel the Colts to the playoffs after an 11-5 season.

    Immediately after that 2012 draft, the talk in Indy was about a certain quarterback-tight end combination. At the time, third-round selection Dwayne Allen was an afterthought. A superfluous pick considering the Colts supposed tight end of the future, Coby Fleener, had just been selected a round earlier. That narrative ran all the way through the start of the season, but by Week 3 the tides had changed. Allen started receiving the bulk of the snaps for the first time that week and didnít look back. For the year he played 493 more snaps, had 240 more receiving yards, and had an overall grade 22.5 points better than Fleener. Allen was PFFís second-highest graded tight end in the NFL last season, and for that he is the Coltsí Secret Superstar.

    A Complete Tight End

    Coming out of Clemson he had a reputation as a complete tight end. So much so that Allen won the John Mackey award as the NCAAís best tight end, despite having only the seventh-most receiving yards (590) and second-most touchdowns (eight). He was then lauded as a possible first-round pick when he declared for the draft, but his stock tumbled quickly from there.

    At the combine his numbers were less than stellar. Questions arose after he measured at only 6-foot-3 after he was listed by Clemson at 6-foot-4. Allen then proceeded to run a sluggish 4.89 40-yard dash and showed average athleticism in the subsequent drills. It became apparent to scouts that he neither had elite size nor speed, and he dropped swiftly all the way to the top of the third round.

    Translating to the Next Level

    What teams underestimated about Allenís game was his blocking prowess. One of the harder abilities to scout in tight ends, blocking is about size, coaching, and effort. What scouts didnít see in Allen was prototypical size and they likely questioned if his blocking skills would translate to the next level. The good news for the Colts is they did.

    For the season, Allen had a run blocking grade of +10.1, third-best among tight ends and best among full-time tight ends. We graded him as having 56 positive blocks and 31 negative blocks. However, Allen wasnít just a successful run blocker, he also graded out very positively in screen blocking and pass blocking. One of his best assets as a blocker is the ability to line up anywhere on the field, and indeed he lined up at 21 unique positions over the course of the season. He did a great job of using his leverage to his advantage and was the type of tight end youíd feel comfortable having singled on a down lineman.

    Stepping Up as a Receiver

    As a rookie Allen was more than competent as a receiver. He caught 45 balls for 521 yards, but maybe more importantly had a drop rate of just 6.25, 11th among tight ends. The biggest knocks on his receiving game both stem from questions about his athleticism. In 2012, Allen was below average after the catches, breaking only three tackles all year. He also rarely got open down the field, with only four targets farther than 20 yards down the field, and only one catch on those passes. He posted an ADoT 7.8 yards and a target percentage of 17.4 which ranked 26th and 27th respectively out of 37 qualifying tight ends. These numbers suggest that Allen ran mostly safety routes and wasnít normally a featured option.

    A tight endís receiving production ultimately comes down to utilization within an offense. This is the reason why a lumbering bull like Jason Witten can put up almost twice as many receiving yards as a physical freak like Vernon Davis, or why Dallas Clark can fall from relevance among top tier tight ends after losing Peyton Manning.

    For this reason I believe Allen could take a big step up in the receiving game in the coming seasons. He will continue to develop a better relationship with Andrew Luck and see a better target percentage. One of the things that will help him out more than anything is the development of his rookie quarterback. Luck had a sensational rookie season, but was plagued by inconsistent accuracy. This was especially apparent in the 0-10 yard range where Allen thrives. On those passes Luck completed a dismal 64% of his throws while the league average was 72%. Considering that 75% of Allenís targets occurred within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage he could see a nice bump in production just from Luckís accuracy development.

    The Next Big Thing?

    Allen has obvious limitations to his upside. His size means heíll probably never be a road-grading third tackle (although heís close), while his athleticism means he wonít put up receiver like numbers any time soon. A good comparison for his upside would be a player like Witten. Heíll continue to be an elite blocker and has all the tools to become an exceptional receiver. The best thing for Allen in his development is that heíll most likely build a relationship with a quality quarterback over his entire career. With great hands and solid route running skills, Allen should provide a safety net for Luck for the foreseeable future.
    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...-dwayne-allen/

    Good article about how amazing Allen was last year.
    2014 Indianapolis Colts: Let's Hunt

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants5518 View Post
    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...-dwayne-allen/

    Good article about how amazing Allen was last year.
    He certainly was! He is a complete TE and should only get better...Indy is fortunate. TY, although obviously not a TE, had a great rookie season as well and should only get better. 50 catches 800 plus yards 7 tds and a punt return td. Between the two of them Luck should have two potent and developing targets over the next few years.
    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyld1 View Post
    He certainly was! He is a complete TE and should only get better...Indy is fortunate. TY, although obviously not a TE, had a great rookie season as well and should only get better. 50 catches 800 plus yards 7 tds and a punt return td. Between the two of them Luck should have two potent and developing targets over the next few years.
    Add in Fleener.
    2014 Indianapolis Colts: Let's Hunt

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    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  4. #4
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    I see Allen as being a consistent threat for us going forward and Fleener as more of the boom or bust type guy. Hopefully Fleener stays healthy this year.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants5518 View Post
    Add in Fleener.
    I would love to but he didn't have the rookie year the two I mentioned did. Hopefully he becomes what we all thought he would when he was drafted adding even more very young weapons to develop with Luck.
    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?

  6. #6
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    Good article though take a bit of an exception to this part of it.

    For this reason I believe Allen could take a big step up in the receiving game in the coming seasons. He will continue to develop a better relationship with Andrew Luck and see a better target percentage. One of the things that will help him out more than anything is the development of his rookie quarterback. Luck had a sensational rookie season, but was plagued by inconsistent accuracy. This was especially apparent in the 0-10 yard range where Allen thrives. On those passes Luck completed a dismal 64% of his throws while the league average was 72%. Considering that 75% of Allen’s targets occurred within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage he could see a nice bump in production just from Luck’s accuracy development.
    This to me almost shows that they didn't watch a single Colts game all last season. Nor did they pay attention to anything other than completion percentage. He had receivers who led the league in drops so how many of those drops within 10 yards are on Luck versus the receivers? Had a bazillion attempts which is going to cause the percentage to be skewed. And finally an O-line that had him running for his life more often than not. So to me it goes much farther than just saying he needs to develop more. Having the time in the pocket and receivers who will actually catch the ball when its thrown to me are more important than him developing more.
    French writer Alexis de Tocqueville warned about when visiting this fledgling democracy in the early 19th century Ė that this "American republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

  7. #7
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    Pagano on Coby Fleener: "He made some outstanding catches (today). What did he have, 20-30 some catches last year? That should double."
    Not Allen related, but sounds like Pagano expecting much more from Fleener.
    2014 Indianapolis Colts: Let's Hunt

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    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

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