The Pittsburgh Steelers made a lot of their fans happy during the 2017 NFL Draft with their selection of Utah product Brian Allen, a former wide receiver turned cornerback who possesses size to go along with speed.
While Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and defensive backs coach Carnell Lake have both already talked some about Allen following his selection in the fifth-round of the draft, the former talked a little more about the team’s new tall cornerback during a Tuesday interview on ‘Movin’ the Chains’ on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“He’s big,” Colbert said of Allen. “6-3, he’s 215, he runs sub-4.5 on our clock and he’s raw. Raw at the position.”
Allen, who was redshirted by Utah as a freshman in 2012, was primarily used on special teams during the 2013 season as he was way down the school’s wide receiver depth chart at the time. In 2014 Utah moved Allen to the defensive side of the football and he eventually embraced the switch.
“You can ask anybody: I’m very physical,” Allen said in 2014, according to Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune. “I like to get physical.”
According to Goon, Allen moved around quite a bit in 2014 and that included him working with the safeties before ultimately landing at cornerback. His 2014 season wound up being cut short by an injury, however.
Despite claiming that he likes to get physical, Allen has admitted along the way that he needs to become a better tackler and that’s something the Steelers will need to focus on with him moving forward in addition to refining his coverage skills.
“I was never really a tackler,” Allen said ahead of the 2015 season, according to Amy Donaldson of the Deseret News. “On offense, I was always known as a good blocker, but being on the opposite side of it, you have to look to come off blocks and tackle.”
As for Colbert, he likes Allen’s upside moving forward with the Steelers and it will now be up to Lake to refine the raw defensive back.
“There’s nowhere to go but up and you take a chance on just that size and speed and the productivity,” Colbert said of Allen on Tuesday. “For a first-year starter, he ended up with four interceptions, so there is some good play in there as well as the ability to maybe get better. So, we really thought at the fifth-round that was a pretty easy selection.”