With the NFL Draft approaching there are a few Purdue players that have a chance at getting their names called by a team. The hometown Colts have only five picks, the fewest of any team in the draft, while the Jets and Rams have 12 picks each.
Over the next few days I'll write up a brief profile on each Purdue player that has a legitimate shot at being drafted. Let's start today with cornerback Ricardo Allen:
Ricardo Allen - 5'9" 187 Cornerback
40-yard Dash - 4.61 seconds
Vertical leap - 35.5 inches
Shuttle - 4.15 seconds
Ricardo is leaving Purdue as one of its most decorated cornerbacks in history. This past season he was one of the leaders in the country with six interceptions, which was second in the Big Ten. For his career he had 13 career picks, good for second in Purdue history. He also holds the Big Ten record for career picks returned for a touchdown with four. Rico was a decent tackler with 53 tackles, four for loss, and nine passes defensed.
Rico was probably the best player on a bad defense this past season. He was a starter from day one in his career and he was constantly put on a team's best receiver with mixed results. He tended to play for the Big play and it sometimes paid off. He returned interceptions for touchdowns against Michigan and Michigan State (2010), Minnesota (2011), and Marshall (2012).
Ricardo is also a tireless and tenacious worker. He is a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder and gives everything he has on every play. He is fast, but doesn't possess blinding speed, and he is a pretty sure tackler. The guy has an excellent attitude and will play his ass off for a team.
Part of the reason he has such an attitude is his physical limitations. He is small for a corner and that shorter stature has caused past problems. Michael Floyd torched him multiple times when we played Notre Dame and bigger receivers often had their way with him. Also, his tendency to go for the big play had negative results at times too. He could get burned when a more patient play is all that was needed.
Sometimes Allen was simply in the wrong position to make a play, something that can be exploited at the next level. Still, he seemed to excel at times he was a nickel corner where he could make a read on a play in the backfield or a jump on the ball. That's great if he guesses right, but horrible if he guesses wrong.
Allen deserves a look somewhere, and I think he could be a solid reserve corner that plays in nickel packages. He seemed to do better at defending smaller slot receivers than a bigger outside receiver. He can make plays on the football and if he does get it, he is a threat to score too. His attitude and work ethic are huge positives in my eyes and they outweigh his negatives. He'll enter the League with 50 collegiate games under his belt and he was often on the field for every defensive snap in those games. He is a seasoned player that can be an asset as a reserve and make a play or two when given the chance.