In the weeks leading up to training camp, Redskins Insider JP Finlay will look at specific people facing increased pressure for Washington's 2017 season.
Pressure Point: Redskins rookie DL Jonathan Allen
Heat is on: Few rookies will walk into a better situation than Jonathan Allen with the Redskins. Washington has needed a dominant player on the defensive line for more than a decade, and Allen should be just that force.
With that opportunity, however, brings a lot of pressure.
Allen lived up to the hype and more during his four seasons at Alabama, yet he slipped to the 17th pick in the NFL Draft. Possible concerns about his shoulder likely caused that drop, and it should be the Redskins gain.
Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula said the Redskins plan to take it slow with Allen rather than immediately expecting greatness (full video above). That makes sense for coaches, but it will be tough for fans to maintain that same patience. Jay Gruden has often joked that patience doesn't exist in Redskins fans.
Last season for the Crimson Tide, Allen made 16 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks on 69 tackles, astounding playmaking from the interior of the defensive line. Don't expect that from the rookie, but even half of those TFL and sack numbers would be a huge boost from him.
Remember, also, that Allen is a local guy. He went to high school in Ashburn, so family and friends will be watching from his first snap. One thing that should help Allen is having his 'Bama teammate and friend Ryan Anderson on the Redskins as well.
Talking with Allen, he seems like a young man who can handle it all. He better, because the pressure will be there for him to be a star.
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