LB Dakota Allen, Texas Tech

6’1” – 232 lbs. – 4.77
Redshirted, then played in five games the following year. Ended up being dismissed from the team for conduct violations, causing him to transfer to East Mississippi Community College. Returned to Texas Tech and took over the full-time starting job at weakside linebacker in 2017, leading the team in tackles and being named a team captain. Moved over to middle linebacker as a senior but has dealt with injuries including a broken hand and knee injury. Team captain who has experience starting both inside and outside. Plays like his hair is on fire; very active, aggressive player. Quick and light on his feet, with the speed to play sideline-to-sideline, chasing down ballcarriers on stretch plays and screens. Likes to play downhill, with good burst to plant and drive on a spot. Hit-and-wrap tackler who closes fast and can generate pop on contact. Stays on the field on passing downs, often working in zones. Fast enough to carry opposing tight ends down the seams in man coverage. Has the athletic traits to be an effective A-gap blitzer if he can be schemed clear lanes to the passer. Well-suited temperamentally and athletically for a special-teams role. Size and length leave something to be desired. Struggles to deal with blockers; has enough short-area quickness to slip them, but has a hard time keeping them out of his pads and can be engulfed and sealed out of the hole. Tendency to turn his shoulder to the line. Takes some narrow angles to the ball and can run himself out of the play by being too aggressive. More athletic than instinctive in zone; doesn’t always seem to have the best feel for route developments. Has dealt with some injuries this past season and durability may be a concern. Was previously dismissed from the team, although he managed to recover his place on the team a year later. An athletic, energetic linebacker who plays the game with a desirable temperament and who offers inside/outside versatility, but who can let his aggressiveness get the best of him and who struggles to take on blockers. Would fit best in a swarming defense which covers him up with big linemen and let him run to the ball. Might be more of a mid-to-late-round option who may have to start his pro career on special-teams units, but has the raw tools to eventually work his way onto the field on defense.

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