The Philadelphia Eagles were able to get a big preseason win on Sunday, climbing over the Cleveland Browns thanks a strong offensive output. While Gardner Minshew and Reid Sinnett stood out at quarterback, it was underdog wideout, Devon Allen, who stole the show.
The former undrafted wideout may have only had one reception on the night, but it was a 55-yard bomb that encapsulates everything that makes him such a unique player.
As RGIII states, Devon Allen is far more than just a wideout trying to break onto the 53-man roster. He’s one of the fastest men on the planet, having placed first in three 110-meter hurdles events this year, including a race at the New York Grand Prix where he posted the third-fastest time in track and field history.
Devon Allen’s setback
Allen did suffer a setback in being disqualified from the World Championship Semi Finals for an alleged false start, although the ruling was controversial and many disagreed with it. However, the term minor setback, major comeback accurately describes what happened next.
A major comeback
After a relatively tame training camp, Devon Allen burst out of the gate against the Browns, sprinting away from every defender in sight to haul in a huge touchdown reception. It acted as a stark reminder as to just how explosive his skillset really is and how even at the NFL level, that kind of speed is hard to find.
It remains to be seen whether or not this will be enough to secure him a spot on the final 53-man roster. The wide receiver position is stacked with depth. The starting three spots are already taken and with names like Jalen Reagor and Zach Pascal vying for the backup spots, it makes it incredibly difficult for an underdog to latch on.
Is that enough to make the cut
Devon Allen signed a three-year $2.5 million contract with the Eagles. But just $40,000 is guaranteed if Allen fails to make the final 53-man roster. Allen’s best years in college came in 2014 for the Ducks in which the 6’0″ speedster totaled over 700 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.
Allen’s incredible acceleration would be a huge addition to a special teams unit that has struggled to generate anything in the return game since the departure of Darren Sproles. There is every chance that Nick Sirianni views Allen’s route-running and sheer game-breaking pace as valuable enough to keep around and help give him a niche role on the special teams unit, truly giving the Eagles an edge over even the fastest of returners.
If he can build on this during this week’s joint practice and preseason clash with the Miami Dolphins, then there is every chance we see Devon Allen suit up in midnight green and add another arrow to his impressive quiver.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ron Schwane