To say I'm excited about Saturday's Alabama-LSU game would be a gross understatement. This is one of the best rivalries in the country and it will take place at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., one of the best game-day environments college football has to offer. I'll be there on Saturday night and I'll have plenty of players to evaluate for both squads. For Alabama, I'll be focused primarily on its front seven, which is led by senior DL Jonathan Allen. He has been a dominant force this fall, racking up six sacks and scoring two defensive touchdowns. I reached out to five NFL personnel executives to find out who Allen reminds them of at the NFL level. Here's a look at their responses.
Executive 1: Richard Seymour
"Allen isn't as long or as tall as Seymour, but I see him as the same type of player. He's very talented."
Executive 2: Sheldon Richardson
"This is a tough one. He reminds me a little of Sheldon Richardson. Similar size. However, Richardson had more juice and Allen is stronger."
Executive 3: Ndamukong Suh
"I haven't come up with a great comparison for him. I do see some similarities to Suh when he was at Nebraska."
Executive 4: Brandon Graham
"He is a really good player but I don't view him the same as some of the top interior guys like (Geno) Atkins and (Aaron) Donald. He's a tweener, similar to Brandon Graham when he was coming out of Michigan. Good player, not an elite player."
Summary: That's one vote apiece for Graham, McCoy, Richardson, Seymour and Suh.
Conclusion: I've struggled to come up with my own comparison for Allen. I compared him to Jurrell Casey after studying him this summer, but I no longer think it fits. He's more powerful than Casey and I think he's more versatile, too. In my opinion, he dominates college games similar to the way Suh dominated games at Nebraska. However, I think Suh had rare strength and power. I don't put Allen in that class. I look forward to watching the rest of Allen's season and hopefully I'll be able to settle on a comparison with more time to study him leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft.