by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics.
The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we here at Draft 412 will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Wisconsin, Running Back, Braelon Allen
Name- Braelon Allen
HT/WT- 6’2” 238 lbs.
Home – Fond du Lac, WI
Braelon Allen starred at Fond du Lac High School in Wisconsin. He reclassified so he could join Wisconsin in 2021 and not 2022 and subsequently, will be one of the younger players drafted in the 2024 draft. He was a consensus 4-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals.com.
As a true-freshman, Allen played in 12 games, starting at running back 4 times. He became only the 4th true-freshman to rush for 1,000 yards, joining Ron Dayne, James White, and Jonathan Taylor. Allen ended the season with 1,268 yards, which was 3rd in the Big 10 in rushing, and averaged 6.82 yards per carry, tying him only with Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson.
In 2022, Allen started all 12 games at running back and rushed for 1,242 yards, ranking 4th in the Big 10. Allen became the 5th fastest Badger player to reach 2,000 career yards (19 games). In two seasons, he had 4 touchdown runs of over 70+ yards and will enter the 2023 season as a Draft 412 pre-season 2nd Team All-American.
Allen had another productive season in 2023. He rushed for 984 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Badgers. The offense was predictable and he was keyed on a lot , but he still was able to average 5.4 yards per carry.
Allen runs with a good initial burst to hit the holes and become a violent runner who is tough to bring down. He’s proven to be a playmaker who has a knack for making big plays. Once he gets to the second level, defensive backs struggle to tackle him. Allen is always driving his legs and getting extra yards, and with his non-stop motor, he keeps churning until the whistle blows.
Allen is exceptionally powerful, power-cleaning 406 Ibs., back-squatting 610 lbs., and bench-pressing 365 lbs. In addition, his 10-yard split is 1.49 seconds, an excellent time for a big back. Allen has good hands in the passing game and as a blocker. He sets up his blocks well before turning up the field. Overall, he’s a good short yardage runner who always seems to fall forward when tackled.
On the downside, Allen is very stiff going side to side and he lacks the twitch and elusiveness of other top backs. He needs more reps as a pass catcher to improve his route running, and as games wear on, he tends to run more upright, losing his downhill power.
Draft 412 sees some similarities between Allen and Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. In particular, the ability to break tackles and the big play ability stand out.
Power and strength
Raw as a receiver
Too upright later in games
Braelon Allen is a large running back with power and strength to break tackles. Depending on what teams want from their running backs he can go anywhere in this draft.
Prediction- 4th or 5th round