Where Did Antonio Allen start his career?
The University of South Carolina from 2008 to 2011:
Allen actually played linebacker his first two seasons before switching to safety. He finished his college career with 198 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and 2 touchdowns.
The New York Jets drafted Allen in the 2012 draft. Allen was picked 242 overall in the 7th round. He is currently a strong safety at 6 foot, 1 inches, weighing 210 pounds.
Rookie Season Struggles:
The Jets waived Allen on September 1, 2012 and signed to the practice squad the next day. In that 2012 season, Allen was promoted to the active roster on October 12. He was brought up after the Jets put CB Darrelle Revis on injured reserve. In same season, Allen was waived again on November 6. Luckily for the Jets, Allen cleared waivers and signed back to the practice squad two days later. Allen’s rookie season very much resembled a roller coaster ride.
Allen worked hard in the offseason and mini camps to have a good training camp, the intention being to make the active roster again.
2013: Allen had new competition in newly signed Jaiquawn Jarrett for the starting free safety role. Allen finished the 2013 season with 9 starts, 60 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception for a touchdown. Allen’s pick-six was off a Tom Brady pass against the Patriots.
The signing of free safety Ed Reed took away from Allen’s playing time. Before, he played 63% snaps the first 9 games. After Reed’s signing, Allen dropped to 11% playing time.
My opinion is that signing Reed hurt the growth and took valuable playing time away from a player who showed great production. During the home game against the Patriots, Allen made key stops on Rob Gronkowski on third down.
More importantly going forward, Allen should be a starter coming into the 2014 season.