Two years ago, most Razorbacks fans would have scoffed at the thought of Brandon Allen in the NFL, but a stellar senior season catapulted him into the draft discussion. The Fayetteville native had a tumultuous five-year career, but ended it at or near the top of the Arkansas record books.
Now one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Razorback history, where might Allen end up?
Career at Arkansas
Freshman Season (2011): Allen redshirted and led the scout team. Many thought Bobby Petrino would have him and Brandon Mitchell fighting for the backup spot behind Tyler Wilson for next season. The future was so bright...
Redshirt Freshman (2012): ...Life comes at you fast. Bobby Petrino was gone and Mitchell converted to receiver, leaving the No. 2 spot open for Allen. He was then thrown to the wolves in his first career start at home against No. 1 Alabama due to an injury Wilson suffered in that game we don't talk about. Otherwise he played little.
Sophomore (2013): Allen's first season as a starter and third different head coach. He threw for 1,552 yards and 13 TDs in 11 starts. The offense in Bret Bielema's first year stayed pretty run heavy so Allen mostly threw pretty safe passes.
Junior (2014): Allen once again improved on his numbers, throwing for 2,285 yards and 20 TDs in 13 starts. Allen led the team to their first bowl appearance since his redshirt season and won the Texas Bowl MVP.
Senior (2015): BA put himself in the the Arkansas record books with this season. Under his fourth offensive coordinator at Arkansas, he threw for 3,440 yards 30 scores to claim the school's career passing record of 64 TDs. Allen led the SEC in passer rating and had the second highest completion percentage in school history while leading Arkansas to a Liberty Bowl win.
Allen's ability to step up under adversity has been a huge positive for scouts. From a physical standpoint, Allen is not the typical size for a quarterback. Some scouts have called him undersized despite quarterbacks like Russell Wilson's success, and there was the story of him trying to stretch his hands out for the combine. He has shown he can put some real velocity behind the ball, and he consistently made throws across the field his senior year. This throw from 2014 shows how much he can get behind the ball when he has time.
He had a tendency to lock in on receivers at times but as his senior year went on he improved on that. He also is a solid athlete for his position. He's not going to pick up yards on the run like Cam Newton, but he can use his athleticism to be effective on bootlegs and keep plays alive in the pocket. His ability to step up in the pocket really improved at the end of his junior year and into the senior year. This play from the Texas Bowl showed he was able to move his feet to evade the rusher from the edge and keep his eyes down field to make the throw.
Projection: Allen is usually listed around the 10th best quarterback in the draft. A team that could use him as a back-up and take time to develop him will probably take him. Look to see him go around the Late 4th-5th round.