The Los Angeles Rams’ final selection of the 2019 NFL Draft is interesting. With their 251st pick, they brought Texas Tech linebacker Dakota Allen to the roster. Putting aside the Rams’ clear need at the inside linebacker position, Allen does have quite the backstory. If all goes well for him, he will have a true underdog story.
Allen gained fame for starring in the 2016 Netflix documentary, “Last Chance U.” He sought to redeem himself after a burglary charge prompted a dismissal from Texas Tech. Allen then joined the East Mississippi Community College football team. It’s here where he became a standout player and while filming for “Last Chance U.” He returned to the Red Raiders for two more years, becoming a star defensive player and special teams contributor.
What are the Rams receiving?
The Rams brought in Allen not only for his skill set, but also his character. He’s seen obstacles most prospects never have. In truth, it is due to his own actions. That said, not everyone receives a second chance, but it’s about what he does with it.
Allen may contribute nicely to a young linebacker corps. Adding depth at inside linebacker is vital. Allen will compete with Bryce Hager for playing time. Hager is also a seventh round prospect but back in 2015. The Rams brought in veteran Clay Matthews, who may split time playing at inside and outside linebacker. With Cory Littleton returning, he will secure one of the starting roles. Allen can learn from both veterans, but it is unknown how much playing time he will see. Allen’s goal will be to make the active roster even if it’s just as a special teams contributor. Though, he does have the potential to squeeze in some playing time.
Allen’s strength and size is there for an inside linebacker position, but speed may be his weakness. He must also learn the Rams defensive scheme and be a little more disciplined. The potential is there, especially with the Rams. He may see a few defensive snaps if he keeps focus and works hard. For now, we can expect Allen’s main role to be on the special teams if he makes the roster. All-in-all, this is a solid pick that’s worthy of a B+ grade.