NAME: Jeffrey Allison
SCHOOL: Fresno State
CONFERENCE: Mountain West
JERSEY: No. 9
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star recruit
WT: 250 lbs
Key & Diagnose – Plays forward and is eager to find work around the box. Reads pullers extremely well and will temper his arrival to be under control and find the football. Does not have the explosiveness needed to make a ton of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Won’t beat blockers to spots despite impressive mental processing to ID concepts.
Range – Super limited range working from the core of the formation to the boundary. Needs runners to be held up for awhile moving laterally in order to arrive in time to make a play. Long speed is going to be a major concern. Overall fluidity in space and explosiveness out of the blocks is a huge weakness.
Tackling/Finishing – Can lay the wood, but targets too low as a tackler and allows more balanced backs to slip his lunging shots. When he hits you square, you’ll feel it. Expected his success rate when tackling outside his frame to be a lot better. Finishing in space is an issue.
Coverage – Doesn’t have the wheels to do much more than simple middle and flat zones in coverage. Smart player who IDs concepts well, just lacks the athletic ability to do much about it. High, choppy backpedal in his zone drops, can’t flip his hips quickly and carry seam routes. Athletic running backs out of the backfield will be tough draws for him in coverage, can’t mirror-and-match.
Block Deconstruction – Big, physical linebacker who gets his hands inside opposing offensive lineman and keeps them off his frame. That said, almost every 1v1 engagement is a wrestling match, does not shed blocks well and rarely works off contact in an efficient manner to find the football. Has to play through blocks better instead of acting every opponent square.
Change of Direction – Super stiff in the hips and sluggish in his change of direction. Plays through a straw and can’t turn tight corners for stops when he gets in the backfield. Playing in space is an adventure, but he does maintain good body control to operate efficiently against less athletic opponents.
Competitive Toughness – Seems to run out of steam late in games, doesn’t exactly bust his tail to chase the ball down at the perimeter. Toughness and physicality around the box is unquestionable. Plays with an edge and won’t be pushed around.
Pass Rush – Blitzed a decent amount with very little success. Tight end handled him against Boise State. For a bigger linebacker you expect more. No moves or plan of attack, just drops a shoulder and tries to run through opponents. Lacks the explosiveness to be a threat.
Discipline – Sorts through misdirection to find the football. Rarely vacates his assignment, shows good recognition and discipline to stay on task. Doesn’t get manipulated in zone coverage.
Athleticism/Size – Big linebacker with the thickness of a defensive end. Might be too big for the modern-day linebacker, as athleticism and explosiveness are sorely lacking.
BEST TRAIT – Box Run Defense
WORST TRAIT – Coverage/Range
RED FLAGS – None
A stocky linebacker with a defensive end-like frame, Allison is a throwback defender who doesn’t tackle or get off blocks quite well enough to even be an ideal player for that mold of linebacker. Allison can thump and read keys well in the box, but his lack of range, athleticism, coverage ability and explosiveness really limit his impact. Allison’s best chance at NFL success is to shed some weight, hope to get faster and make a splash on special teams during the preseason.