Dwayne Allen Q&A

Dwayne Allen Q&A

Clemson junior All-American tight end Dwayne Allen won't have to wait too long to hear his name called during the NFL draft next week. He's expected to be a late first-round draft pick or go early in the second round. The New York Giants' No. 32 overall pick of the first round is regarded as a strong potential landing spot for Allen.

Regarded as the top all-around tight end, Allen is expected to be picked after athletic Stanford tight end Coby Fleener.

NFL teams covet versatility at the tight position, and Allen provides that as a blocker and as a receiving threat.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder isn't especially fast on a stopwatch, clocking a 4.85 in the 40-yard dash. However, Allen tends to play faster than that time.

He bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times at the NFL scouting combine with a 32-inch vertical leap, a 9-2 broad jump, a 4.37 20-yard shuttle and a 7.12 three-cone drill.

Rather than run again at his campus Pro Day workout, Allen declined, saying: "I'm not a track guy. I'm a football player. Just watch me on film, I play faster."

Allen was utilized in a versatile manner for the Tigers, lining up split out in the slot and in the backfield, going in motion and also operating as a traditional in-line tight end.

Allen won the Mackey Award as the top tight end in the nation, catching 50 passes 598 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

On the Clemson campus, he recently met with Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and tight ends coach Pete Hoener.

He spoke with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan at the NFL scouting combine.

As a sophomore, Allen caught 33 passes for 373 yards and one touchdown.

He finished his career with 93 receptions for 1,079 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He chose Clemson over Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

We caught up with Allen recently for the following interview:

Scout: Do you feel like you're the best all-around tight end as far as blocking and receiving?

Allen: "Yeah, you kind of hit it on the nail. I feel like in this draft I am that all-around tight end. I get it done on a consistent basis, blocking in-line or split out in the slot or moving into the backfield and helping out there. I'm a versatile guy."

Scout: What do you hear from NFL teams about your blocking?

Allen: "There's a lot of good coaches out there, but if you're not willing and wanting to block then those great coaches, those gurus on blocking, they can't help you at all. That's where I've been very fortunate. I've always been told I've got to block before I get the ball. That's the mentality I take. I get chill bumps when I see my running backs and receivers breaking free down the field. I've heard great things from teams about my blocking."

Scout: Do you feel like playing in the Clemson offense prepared you well for an NFL scheme?

Allen: "I feel like it will help me a lot. I've done a lot of things in college that most other tight ends haven't done as far as being in the backfield, doing lot of the motion. I did a lot in our offense. It calls for guys like myself to play split out in the slot, playing a bit of fullback, doing a lot of different things. Being able to showcase in my offense in college should help me out a lot."

Scout: How much do you feel like the New York Giants are a strong possibility for you?

Allen: "It's a very attractive team for me, even before their tight ends got hurt in the Super Bowl. I feel like New York would be a good fit for me. Their scheme suits what I do and what I can do best. With Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz and the running game they have and the quarterback they have in Eli Manning, they have all of the pieces in place without a tight end. With my experience, I can help them win."

Scout: Have you been on many visits?
BR> Allen: "I've been to a couple places, I've had a couple of workouts. You never know what it means. I'm just as much in the dark as anyone else. I do get ticked off that I get downgraded because the rest of this tight end class isn't as strong. I feel like I would have held my own if you compared me to other tight end classes."

Scout: What's your take on your speed?

Allen: "I play way faster than I run. There are numerous guys like that. Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald. I didn't run as fast as I wanted, but I'm still a playmaker. People put so much into 40 times and combine results and having pure athletes, but that's not what football is all about. I wanted to get that across. If it hurts me, so be it."

Scout: What kind of personality will you bring to the locker room?

Allen: "I'm a team player, first and foremost. I'm a freaking competitor. I want to win. When my team is winning, I'm winning individually. From a leadership standpoint, I'm not only the guy who leads by example. I'll say something that needs to be said. I'll step up and say it when I've worked so hard so people can listen to me on gameday.

"Off the field, I just want to help people themselves. I love being able to help people and empower them with knowledge."

Scout: What's your goal in the NFL?

Allen: "I want to be the best. I just want to be the best. Whenever I get done playing the game of football and the doctor or the team or my wife tells me, 'You're done,' I want people to talk about Dwayne Allen like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and John Mackey, the greats that played the tight end position."

For more coverage of the NFL, go to profootball.scout.com.

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