Up until now, the Detroit Lions have mostly been linked to running backs and cornerbacks in free agency. However, late Monday evening they have finally been rumored to be interested in a defensive lineman.
According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Lions are pursuing Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen:
Hearing Detroit and Tampa Bay are among teams interested in free-agent defensive tackle Beau Allen, who just won a Super Bowl with Philadelphia and is from Minnetonka, Minn. Haven't heard #Vikings linked to him.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 12, 2018
Allen is a seventh-round pick out of Wisconsin from the 2014 NFL Draft. With the Eagles, Allen has seen a healthy amount of playing time as a rotational piece over the past three seasons. Here’s a look at his statline since 2015:
2015: 16 games (2 starts): 28 tackles, 2 passes defended
2016: 16 games (3 starts): 29 tackles, 0.5 sacks
2017: 15 games (3 starts): 20 tackles, 1.0 sacks
At 6-foot-3, 327 pounds, Allen is most comfortable as a 1 or 3-tech defensive/nose tackle. He’s much more of a run stuffer than a pass rusher. Though it appears the Eagles are moving on from Allen (partially because of their salary cap issues right now), he deserves credit for carving out a role for himself in Philadelphia after a big scheme change when Jim Schwartz came to town in 2016. If anything, Allen found a bigger role under Schwartz, even though his body type is more sculpted towards a 3-4 nose tackle role.
Allen wouldn’t be a huge splash for the Lions, but he represents a versatile option for Matt Patricia to play with, and as Allen would say himself, he’s elephantastic.