With the 2014 NFL Draft in the books and the regular season fast-approaching, Badger of Honor is taking an in-depth look at each and every Wisconsin Badger in the National Football League.
Up next in the series will be a group of Badgers selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, beginning with the final Wisconsin player taken: nose tackle Beau Allen.
Allen was a highly-touted recruit (nation’s 20th best defensive tackle – MaxPreps) out of Minnetonka, Minnesota. He was thought of as the best defensive player coming out of Minnesota that year.
Allen immediately saw playing time his freshman season, hitting the field in all 13 games. In limited action, Allen recorded 15 tackles on the season.
As a sophomore, Allen saw his play time rise, although he still didn’t crack the starting lineup. He began to show his potential during his sophomore campaign, as he ranked second on the team with 4 sacks. He amassed 22 total tackles over the course of the year.
His sophomore performance and off-season work solidified a starting spot heading to his junior year in 2012. His production nearly doubled, as he amassed 37 total tackles, a career-high 7.5 tackles for loss (second highest on team), and 2.5 sacks.
As a senior, Allen finished out his career never missing a game with a school record total of 54 games played. While his numbers went down from his junior year, Allen finished his career with 94 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 8 sacks, as well as a blocked punt, a blocked field goal, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown (vs. Arizona State in 2013).
Allen’s senior season was significant for another reason.
Wisconsin made the change from a 4-3 defense in 2012 to a 3-4 in 2013, and centered that defense around Allen at nose tackle.
The nose tackle isn’t utilized by every NFL team, but Allen’s versatility and ability to play at other spots on the defensive line was seen as a plus heading into the draft.
Allen’s size and strength was also seen as a major plus for potential drafters, as noted by his NFL.com draft profile noting that he “squats a small house.” At 6’2”, 333 pounds, Allen was seen as a 3-4 nose tackle with the potential to develop into a quality starter.
Allen went, as predicted, in the seventh round of the draft, finding a home with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Shortly after the draft, Allen signed a four-year deal with the Eagles.
The Eagles traded nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga in 2013, and utilized 2013 third-round draft pick Bennie Logan (LSU) as their starter last year, with fellow rookie (undrafted, Alabama) Damion Square in a backup role.
Allen will compete with the duo of ex-SEC second-year linemen for playing time.