NFL Draft Profile: Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen

Northwestern v Wisconsin
Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Could the Broncos adding the big and powerful Wisconsin back to their backfield?

One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos in the mid-rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft is former Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen. He is a 6-1, 235-pound physical runner who is viewed as one of the top backs in the draft.

Allen played a total of three seasons at Wisconsin where he was a mainstay in their backfield during his time there. In those three seasons, Allen totaled 597 carries for 3,494 yards, and 35 rushing touchdowns while also having 49 career receptions for 275 yards. This past season, Allen had 181 carries for 984 yards and 12 touchdowns while also catching 28 passes for 132 yards.

Player Profile

Height: 6-1

Weight: 235 pounds

40-time: not available

Arm Length: 31 14th inches

Hands: 9 14th inches

Broad Jump: 9’9”

Bench Press: 26 reps

Film Room

Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Great size, frame, and strength
  • A classic one-cut, downhill running back with great straight-line speed
  • Has a quick burst through an open lane and has the long speed to outrun defenders
  • Tough to bring down at times and consistently bounces off defenders, especially in the secondary
  • Usually maintains balance through contact
  • Productive in the short-yardage game
  • Has the size and strength to be a good pass blocker
  • Will only be 20 years old during his rookie year

Weaknesses

  • Lacks burst if held up at the line of scrimmage
  • Stiff/tight-hipped runner who lacks the hip fluidity to change direction
  • Shows flashes of being a power runner but it is inconsistent and sometimes he goes down after first contact
  • Inconsistent vision
  • Despite having the size and strength to be a pass blocker, he needs some improvement there

What other analysts are saying about Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen

NFL.com’s draft analyst Lance Zierlein – Link

Allen’s splashy entry into college football had evaluators excited about what the end product might look like, but now there are more questions than answers. Allen has rare size on an imposing frame, and his production is nothing to scoff at. Evaluators will need to rely more heavily on his 2022 tape, where he ran with better decisiveness and instincts in a pro-style running attack. He’s built to be a banger but needs to embrace a consistently physical style, as he lacks the footwork and hips to elude defenders with finesse. Allen will compete for a role as a two-down backup but could bolster his chances for success if he plays at a lighter weight, to improve his quickness.

Does Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen make sense for the Denver Broncos on day 3 of the NFL Draft?

When I started this profile, I only saw highlights of Allen and like all highlights, they’re great and I was excited to dig in on him. Coming out of this report, I am much lower on him than I expected.

Listen, he is what he is. He is a north-south, one-cut, downhill runner who has the size and strength to run through you when he wants to. For a big back, he is not as powerful as you would think, at least consistently. There are certainly flashes of that but it is not a consistent thing in his game. If you can open up a run lane he does have the burst and long speed to get a big chunk of yards, however, he lacks that stop-and-go burst and loses all momentum if that hole isn’t there.

As for his fit on the Broncos, I think his skill set overlaps a bit too much with Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine. Both are bigger backs with varying skill sets, but I do not think Allen brings anything to the table that these two already do.

He is only 20 years old and is still maturing and developing so there is a chance he can grow into a better NFL player for sure, but there are other backs in this draft I would prefer.

I think the Broncos need to address their backfield in the draft. Yes, Javonte Williams was coming off a major knee injury but he only averaged 3.6 yards per carry last season, has only topped 900 yards once in his career, and has not proven to be a big touchdown guy for the Broncos. He is entering the final year of his deal and the Broncos should be looking to add some competition.

As for the rest, Perine proved he is a third down/passing down specialist while Jaleel McLaughlin had his moments, his size will limit him to a defined role on offense. Adding a dynamic back to this backfield, especially with a rookie quarterback likely starting sooner rather than later should be a priority in my opinion.

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Title: NFL Draft Profile: Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen
Author: Scotty Payne

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