Michigan State fans have gotten used to seeing plenty of Spartans graduate into the NFL over the last decade. Most years, it’s safe to assume a handful of former MSU players will hear their name called during the NFL Draft.
This year, however, will almost certainly be the first time in four years that multiple MSU players won’t be drafted and it may be the first time since 1940 that the program doesn’t have anyone drafted. Of course, this year, that is more a product of a young Michigan State team than anything else.
But there is one player that could keep the streak alive, and he may end up an absolute steal. As everyone in the Big Ten learned, Brian Allen has a way of getting what he wants.
The former MSU center was the only Spartans representative at the NFL Combine in March and is currently predicted to be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent, according to NFL.com.
Allen’s toughness and strength at the point of attack will endear him to offensive line coaches, but his physical limitations and likely “center-only” designation could hurt his draft standing. Allen is a grinder who needs to find a team with a running game that fits his makeup. Allen’s power and ability to generate some movement in the running game give him a good shot of making a roster and sticking with a club.
A player with Allen’s skill will almost certainly find his way onto a training camp roster, and it would come as no surprise to anyone who has watched him play if the center is on a roster in September.
Allen was a force on the Spartans offensive line for three years and was named All-Big Ten each of those seasons.
For what it’s worth, NFL teams can rest assured that Allen will enter the league with a strong knowledge of what it takes to succeed in the league. Allen’s older brother, and fellow Spartan, Jack has carved out his own space in the NFL. The elder Allen went undrafted himself, but made the New Orleans Saints practice squad his first year out of MSU and finished the season with the team. Last year, however, Allen spent the entire season on injured reserve.
Those who have seen Brian Allen play seem to think he will have a similar fate as his brother, even if he isn’t drafted either.
“We call that dude ‘Bully of the Big Ten’ because he is always bringing it to somebody each and every game,” and NFL scout said to NFL.com. “He’s got that Alpha mentality because he comes from that kind of family. He might get drafted late but he’ll make a team.”
Regardless of where Allen finds himself in May, there is plenty of confidence around his game. And for MSU fans worried about how the program will replace a guy like Brian Allen, the team has a plan – sophomore offensive lineman Matt Allen, the younger brother of Jack and Brian.