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Eagles Get Their New Safety in USF's Allen

Eagles Take Allen With Pick From McNabb Trade
By Lance Epstein

Earlier this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Reid decided to trade their franchise quarterback in Donovan McNabb to the division rival Washington Redskins. In return they received the 37th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and a 2011 fourth-round pick, which could become a third-rounder.

Today, the Eagles decided to work on their secondary with that No. 37 pick. They took free safety Nate Allen out of South Florida, which was a necessity, but also the best available player on the board.

He is a true free safety that excels in coverage but has shown inconsistency in the physical aspect of his game. Even though his biggest weakness is coming up and helping in the run game, secondary coach Dick Juaron can improve that facet of his game. Moreover he amy actually be ready to start in week one.

Additionally, SI's draft guru Tony Pauline compares Allen to the Giants' safety Kenny Phillips (without the knee issues). He might lack the physicality that Phillips has, but he shows good balance, good footwork, quickness for his size. Additionally, he shows great range, solid technique and is rarely out of position. More importantly, he has the ideal size for a safety and his long arms allow him to re-route wide receivers.

While Allen is not in the same class as Earl Thomas or even Eric Berry, he could be a steal at 37. Many mock drafts had him going as first round pick. Furthermore, this was a huge area of need for the Eagles considering Marlin Jackson is recovering from a torn ACL, Quintin Demps is in Andy Reid's doghouse and Macho Harris who is not a safety, but a corner.

Although the thing that Eagles fans want to know is whether he can replace Brian Dawkins. Well, he has the mental toughness, size and athleticism to be a very nice safety for the next decade. He may never be as good as Dawkins or as beloved by the fans base, but he is a significant upgrade and the fans should be grateful he fell to the Eagles.

Allen (6-1, 207), will always be linked to McNabb since he was selected with the pick received for six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, so if he does not become anything but good, the fans will let Reid hear about it.

Still, this is a great pick. Allen was overlooked in this draft and might turn out to be a Pro Bowl caliber player. He actually has better size than Thomas and natural instincts for the position than Berry. Fans should be jumping for joy at this pick.

The Eagles have another selection today at No. 55. Do not be surprised if they trade out to gain a third-round pick, which they lost in the trade for Brandon Graham last night. If not, a corner like Indiana-Pa's Akwasi Owusu-Anash could be the pick.

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