This year’s improvement was supposed to be a light years leap from 2006 when Allen missed the first three weeks of camp while his contract got done. That hasn’t happened.
Despite spending much of last season enjoying something of a redshirt year because of his holdout, despite attending every offseason camp, despite having every reason to have his talent finally begin to shine, Allen has done nothing the first week of training camp to stand out.
Allen’s disappointing situation speaks volumes when one considers the Dolphins entire cornerback picture. That picture puts Will Allen and Travis Daniels as the starters and veteran Michael Lehan as the next cornerback to play when Miami goes to its pass-situation defenses.
So that means Allen, at best, is Miami’s fourth-best cornerback in the coaching staff’s opinion. The problem is that veteran Andre’ Goodman, who is still recovering from two offseason shoulder surgeries, won’t be able to practice until very late in training camp.
But Goodman, who started 14 games last year, will also move ahead of Allen on the depth chart when he’s healthy.
So where does that leave Allen?
He will be the fifth-best cornerback on the team that is likely to keep only five or six cornerbacks on the roster. Were it not for a contract that makes cutting him a painful salary cap proposition, Allen might be fighting to stay on the roster as much as players such as Shirdonya Mitchell, Derrick Johnson or some of the other guys you’ve never heard of.
The Dolphins, of course, are hoping Allen somehow finds his form and niche in the preseason. They hope the move he made to cornerback will clear some of the confusion he suffered while playing safety a year ago.
That Allen is at best the #4 CB on the team, says Miami has just made their latest draft mistake. Allen’s non-performance to date further certifies how disastrous Miami’s 1st round drafting has been 2006.
1- Two first rounders(02 and 03) traded for Ricky Williams. Enough said.
2- Miami traded up in 2004 to draft Guard Vernon Carey. Carey is an adequate to good lineman, no more.
3- RB Ronnie Brown in 2005. Brown is good and could still get better, but at this point he isn’t worth the overall #2 pick of the draft that Miami used to acquire him.
4- Jason Allen in 2006. How bad is Allen at the moment?
Receiver Derek Hagan is running five yards behind cornerback Jason Allen on his way to a long pass completion and there are three ways to view this early snapshot of training camp.
During a June mini-camp, on a similarly sweltering day in another one-on-one match with Hagan, the receiver got some 20 yards behind Allen on his way to another long completion that would have been an embarrassing touchdown were it a regular-season game.
So, hey, Allen has improved his coverage by some 15 yards in just a few weeks.
Not pretty at all so far as the Dolphins are concerned. Allen will fall right in line with other #16 picks by Miami, Eric Kumerow and John Bosa. Both played three undistinguished years for the Dolphins. Allen may not even make it through this year.
Don’t forget the second round picks Miami to pick LB Eddie Moore, and spent on trades for quarterbacks Jay Feeley and Daunte Culpepper. It is hard to remember when the franchise got a top quality player in the first two rounds.
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