INDIANAPOLIS — Questions have been raised this week about whether Jonathan Allen’s shoulders were going to be an issue that affected his NFL career. On Saturday at the NFL Combine, the defensive lineman out of Alabama answered those questions by telling reporters, “Not at all, not at all.”
“My shoulder feels good,” Allen said. “Every doctor said if there is a problem it’s after football, way after football. I have no concerns at all.”
Allen said that he has arthritis in his left shoulder, but doctors did not place restrictions on any type of workouts he may do because of it.
“It might be a problem 15-20 years down the road,” Allen added. “This is probably the best I felt in the past four years.”
Moving forward, Allen says that he’s mentally prepared for whatever happens during his career. “At Alabama, it’s definitely not the easiest thing to do for four years. I feel like Coach [Nick] Saban has prepared me well for this opportunity and I’m ready to take advantage of it.”
The pass rusher has been telling teams he brings a winning atmosphere, a winning attitude, and a leader. He also said that he’s “a guy who’s going to bust his butt every play and a guy who is looking to come in and make an immediate impact in a positive way.”
During the 2016 season, Allen made a play that’s been called the “Superman sack” on Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight.
Allen made a dive for Knight, with his body fully extended before taking down the quarterback.
Allen straight up busted his butt on the play, but he takes the most pride in his technique.
“I like to think I’m a technician,” he said. “I feel like I can do anything that I’m asked to do on the defensive line.”
He could have opted for the draft last season, but he told reporters that he didn’t like how people limited him as being a third-down player only.
“Not too many people considered me as an every down player and that kind of bothered me,” he said. “It put a chip on my shoulder, so I wanted to come back and prove that I can do both and do them effectively.”
He was questioned about taking plays off, and had a quick response.
“If you do that you won’t be playing at Alabama, I promise you that,” Allen said with a laugh. “There’s no such thing as taking a play off.”
Based on discussions he had with veteran players, he determined that he needs to watch more film. “Just knowing what to look at, writing down tendencies, formations, little stuff that you never really thought about in college,” Allen explained, citing that he needed to observe receivers, running backs, and the formation the offense lines up in.
The questions about his health were answered on Saturday. Allen is coming from a school that has produced plenty of great NFL talents, and he just might be the next.