Kelly long wanted Eagles' rookie NT Beau Allen

Kelly long wanted Eagles' rookie NT Beau Allen

Roseman details Eagles' draft philosophy

May 18, 2014, 9:00 am
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The Eagles took nose tackle Beau Allen in the seventh round of last week's draft. (USA Today Images)

Beau Allen was on Chip Kelly's wish list long before last week's NFL draft.

Allen, whom the Eagles took with their final pick in the seventh round, was originally recruited by Kelly out of Minnetonka High School in Minnesota to play nose tackle at Oregon.

Instead, Allen spurned the Ducks and chose nearby Wisconsin, where he served as a two-year starter for the Badgers. 

Luckily for Allen, Kelly and Eagles defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro, who served the same position under Kelly at Oregon, didn't hold that against him.

"[Azzinaro] introduced himself to me at pro day and reminded me that he recruited me," Allen said. "I don't really remember too much about that -- it was a long time ago. But we just talked a little bit at pro day. He's an easy guy to talk to."

The 6-foot-3, 329-pound Allen never missed a game in his four-year collegiate career and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in his junior and senior seasons.

He agreed to a four-year deal with the Birds on Thursday (see story).

"It seemed like a good fit," Allen said. "[Azzinaro] seemed like a great D-line coach. Even from one practice today, I can tell he's a technician. ...

"I was kind of hoping that I'd come here. One thing that I took from my visit was it seems like everyone is really buying into the organization, and I think that goes a long way."

Several of the Eagles' new rookies, who talked Friday after the first-day of a three-day rookie minicamp, spoke of the team's formal and sometimes difficult interviewing process.

Apparently Allen, three times an Academic All-Big Ten at Wisconsin, performed well.

"I think I'm a prototypical size for a nose tackle," Allen said. "I think I play the game hard, and I like to think I'm a smart football player. I can learn the scheme, and I think those are important aspects."

Even if the Eagles hadn't taken Allen in the seventh round, they would have had to opportunity to sign him in the rookie free-agency period that follows the draft.

Allen was glad it didn't come to that.

"It's nerve-racking as it is, but once you get down into the seventh round, you get a whole bunch of calls from different teams about free agency and stuff," he said.  "You can never give up hope about being drafted. You never want to abandon that.

"During the draft I was keeping an eye on the Eagles' picks because I wanted to secretly come here -- crossing my fingers was kind of an anxious thing to do. But it all worked out."

At Wisconsin, Allen liked to crack jokes on and off the football field and sometimes pulled some pretty good pranks on his teammates. One even involved a future NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

"My freshman year, a group of guys went on J.J. Watt's Twitter and said he got moved to D-tackle from D-end," Allen said. "That caused kind of a big media buzz -- that was pretty funny."

But there was no joking around at the first day of rookie minicamp.

"I felt good about it," Allen said. "You have to learn the little nuances from taking reps. At the beginning of practice, I was lining up too close to the ball, by the end of practice, I learned you have to back off the ball a little bit. Just the little things."

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