He was taken in the seventh round, but former Tech B-back Anthony Allen is going into a pretty good situation in Baltimore. Ray Rice has the starting job, but Allen has a chance to be the backup.
Backup Willis McGahee has a $6 million base salary for 2011, which is a bit more than any team wants to be paying a backup running back. His agent has reportedly said he won’t take a pay cut, which is kind of forcing the Ravens’ hand. A Baltimore Sun report indicated the decision has already been made.
If McGahee is out of the picture, then that, at least at present, leaves Allen to compete with three other running backs. Combined, they have 11 NFL carries. It’s certainly possible the Ravens could cut McGahee and bring him back or they could find a backup for Rice in the free agency market, whenever the lockout ends. And it also bears mention that, as a seventh-round pick, Allen isn’t exactly a huge investment for the Ravens. But, they do like him (a couple quotes below) and he will get his chance.
Probably way more than you wanted to know about Anthony Allen’s chances to make the Ravens. From Ravens headquarters:
GM Ozzie Newsome: “We think there’s some upside there being that he played in a wishbone [system]. Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery made the statement to us last week when we were in meetings that if we backed this guy up six or seven yards from the ball, then he thinks he could add a lot to us as a running back.”
Player personnel and college scouting director Joe Hortiz:
“Obviously, at Georgia Tech, they run the triple option, and he’s either running the ball or getting hit on a fake. So, he’s tough. But when you go back and look at his career, and at Louisville, and you watch the combine tape, I think at the combine he really showed the ability to catch the ball away from his frame. Not all the quarterbacks out there were throwing it on the money, and he could track it on the downfield routes. He catches the ball well. He’s a tough kid; he will block when he does those fakes, so he’s pretty versatile in that sense – square up and when they give him the belly and they’re throwing. They don’t throw to him there, but he’ll square up and take on d-tackles until they come off blocks.”
A couple other notes: I have to say that going undrafted would have to be a pretty agonizing way to spend two or three days. Particularly if you’re in the shoes of someone like Jerrard Tarrant or Mario Butler, who had an idea they might get drafted, but had no idea where or when. You’re so excited to find out where you’re going – a level of anticipation that is exceeded in life maybe only by a wedding or the birth of a child – but you don’t know when (or if) it will happen over the course of two days (if you don’t count the first round), so you’re just sitting there, waiting for the phone to ring, and then, after a good six or seven hours on Saturday where literally at any moment an NFL head coach might be calling to tell you his team is going to pick you, you finally realize a dream you’ve worked most of your life towards isn’t going to happen, at least not in the way you envisioned.
“It was quite different and long, one of the longer days of my life,” Butler said, “where you’re sitting and waiting and waiting and waiting and nothing happens.”
Butler, you’ll be happy to know, is looking up.
“I’ve just got to stay positive about everything,” he said. “That’s the way I’m looking at it, as long as I get an opportunity to showcase myself.”
2. There were 35 ACC players taken in the draft, second most. I’ll let you guess who was first. Every school except Duke and Wake Forest had players picked. The breakdown: North Carolina 9, Miami 8, Clemson 6, Florida State 3, Virginia Tech 3, Maryland 2, Boston College, Georgia Tech, N.C. State tied with 1.
Number of picks from Tech’s year-by-year for the last 10:
2010 – 4
2009 – 4
2008 – 3
2007 – 2
2006 – 3
2005 – 0
2004 – 5
2003 – 0 (not counting Tony Hollings, taken in supplemental draft)
2002 – 2
2001 – 0