Dallas Cowboys 2012 Draft: Clemson Tight End Dwayne Allen Is a Sleeper Pick

Jonathan Bales@thecowboystimesAnalyst IMarch 23, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04:  (L-R) Sammy Watkins #2 and Dwayne Allen #83 of the Clemson Tigers celebrate after Watkins scored a 27-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Last year, we saw the surprising selections of inside linebacker Bruce Allen and running back DeMarco Murray in the middle rounds by the Dallas Cowboys.  

Could a similar thing be on the horizon in 2012? With Jason Garrett’s emphasis on taking the best player available, it’s certainly possible.

One of the need positions which is being ignored by most is tight end.

With the cornerback and interior line positions shored up just a bit, however, you might start to hear more about the potential for the ‘Boys selecting a tight end.  

Here’s why:

Martellus Bennett was more valuable than you think.  

No, he didn’t progress as a receiver as we hoped, but Bennett was perhaps the top blocker on the team the past two years.  

Yes, the entire team.

Jason Witten will soon turn 30.

He’s still got a few productive years left, but Garrett’s offense thrives on the strategic implementation of a dominant tight end who has receiving/blocking versatility. 

What do we really know about John Phillips?

One great preseason game isn’t going to cut it.

Perhaps no tight end prospect fits into what the Cowboys need, both now and in the future, as Clemson’s Dwayne Allen. I posted a scouting report on Dwayne Allen today at the Times. Click the link to check it out.

Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen is a very versatile player, capable of playing both a traditional in-line position and as a move player, whether it be in the slot, out wide or as an H-Back.  Allen looks natural in all spots, particularly in a stand-up position in the slot.

Allen looks comfortable running routes and as a pass-catcher.  You can see him go get the ball at the 2:00 mark in the second video against Auburn.  Allen has countless plays resembling this one; he really does a nice job of attacking the football.

In the first video, you can see Allen’s fluidity as a route-runner at multiple spots, including at the 49-second mark.  He excels at getting off the line more as a receiver than in a traditional tight end spot, where his inability to maintain leverage at times results in trouble getting off the press.  That’s something he can work on, though, and I think Allen will excel whether he’s lined up in a three-point stance or not.

I love Allen as a complete tight end, and he will be rated right near Coby Fleener in my overall rankings. While I don’t see the selection of Allen as probable by any means, it wouldn’t shock me in the least. I think he’d immediately step in as the No. 2 tight end, and with his versatility, the No. 1 tight end a few years down the road.

Also, my first mock draft is on stands now in USA Today’s 2012 Draft Preview magazine.  I completed it a few months ago, so it is basically total crap.  

Go buy it anyway!  

Seriously, a whole lot of stuff better than my own. Plus, I have another article on the best and worst team drafts since 2000, and the ‘Boys made the cut.  

Not in a good way.

My second mock draft will be posted sometime this weekend at the Times, and I like it a whole lot more. You’ll be a bit surprised to see my selection for Dallas.

Previous Scouting Reports

Michael Brockers, DT/DE, LSU

Devon Still, DT/DE, Penn State

Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

David DeCastro, G, Stanford

Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida/North Alabama

Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia

Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin


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