PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Washington Redskins selected defensive lineman Jonathan Allen in the first round (No. 17 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Allen (6-3, 286) played in 57 career games at Alabama from 2013-16, recording 154 tackles (78 solo), 45.0 tackles for loss, 28.5 sacks, seven pass breakups and three forced fumbles. His 28.5 career sacks rank second in Alabama history, trailing only College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas. He grew up five miles from the Redskins facility in northern Virginia.
"It’s a blessing," Allen said of being drafted by his hometown team. "It’s only something you read about in books – it doesn’t even seem real. For me to be going back home to Washington, it’s honestly just the biggest blessing I could have ever received.”
As a senior and team captain in 2016, Allen played in all 15 games, contributing 69 tackles (33 solo), 16.0 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and also contributed two touchdowns on fumble returns. A unanimous first-team All-American selection, he earned the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and Ted Hendricks Award and helped lead the Crimson Tide to a berth in the national championship.
Allen, considered by many experts to be a top five prospect in the 2017 draft, likely slipped to the 17th pick due to durability concerns about his surgically repaired shoulders. "I feel like it was definitely in the back of some teams’ mind," Allen admitted. "I don’t know. At this point, I’m really not even worried about that. I’m just blessed and happy to be a Washington Redskin now. I’m looking forward to getting to work and proving I belong there.”
Last month, Allen told NFL.com doctors informed him he has arthritis but he's unconcerned.
“We didn’t have any concerns," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews and he gave us the thumbs up on him. Plus, we feel very good about the injuries."
Allen appeared in all 15 games of Alabama’s national championship campaign in 2015, compiling 36 tackles (19 solo), 14.5 tackles for loss and 12.0 sacks. He earned first-team All-SEC selections from the Associated Press and the conference’s coaches.
Allen also earned first-team All-SEC honors as a sophomore in 2014 after recording 33 tackles (16 solo), 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 14 games. A year earlier, he appeared in 13 games and contributed 16 tackles (10 solo) and 3.0 tackles for loss as a freshman.
Allen, 22, attended Ashburn’s Stone Bridge H.S., approximately five miles from Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park. At Stone Bridge, Allen was a first-team Parade All-American and was the recipient of the 2012 Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year award. He was born Jan. 16, 1995.