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The Ravens finalized their 2011 NFL Draft by selecting burly Georgia Tech running back Anthony Allen with the 225th-overall pick
Standing 6-foot-1, 222 pounds, Allen is known for his powerful burst through the line and churning legs.
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Those characteristics – coupled with Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson’s option attack for the Yellowjackets – helped Allen finish second in the ACC and 18th nationally with 1,316 rushing yards last season, averaging 101.2 yards per game.
The Ravens believe Allen’s experience with the off-beat offense, a misdirection-based system that features three potential ball carriers, can help the Ravens with his vision and ability to pick holes.
“We think there is some upside there in that he played in a wishbone,” said Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome. “Our running backs coach, Wilbert Montgomery, made the statement to us last week when we were in meetings that if we back this guy up 6 or 7 yards from the ball, he thinks [Allen] could add a lot to us.”
In 2010, the former Louisville transfer tallied five 100-yard games, and over the last two seasons, his only two at Georgia Tech, Allen amassed 1,934 yards on the ground.
Allen also has some wheels that belie his size – he ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine – and good hands out of the backfield, which make him a solid option on third down.
“At Georgia Tech, they’re running the triple option, so he’s either getting the ball or getting hit. He’s tough,” said Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz. “But when you go back and look at his career and watch the combine tape, I think at the combine, he really showed the ability to catch the ball away from his frame. Not all of those quarterbacks are throwing it on the money, and he tracked it on the downfield routes.
“He will block when he does those fakes, so he’s pretty versatile in that sense. He’ll square up and take on D-tackles when they come off blocks.”
With the uncertainty surrounding the roster status of fullback Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee, Allen has an opportunity to provide a power punch to compliment shifty running back Ray Rice.