Beau Allen has legs like tree trunks.
You look at the 6-foot-3, 329-pound nose tackle and you can understand why the Eagles drafted him in the seventh round. There's more to playing the position in the NFL, but coach Chip Kelly and his staff have certain size parameters for each position.
With his ranginess and solid base, (his knees are over 18 inches in diameter), Allen checks off a bunch of the Eagles' size qualifications for a base defense nose tackle.
And then there's his athleticism. Allen wasn't invited to the scouting combine in February, but his vertical leap (31 inches) and his 250-pound lift (30 repetitions) at Wisconsin's pro day would have been good for fourth and seventh among defensive tackles in Indianapolis.
Allen didn't run a 40-yard dash (not that many teams care much about 40 times for nose tackles), but he did show teams what he could do with his 10-yard burst.
"Every time we're drafting a big guy, I think of Bill Parcells, who said a long time ago, 'God didn't make a lot of 330-pound guys that can run,' " Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. "The first time I watched Beau Allen, it was impressive how athletic he was for such a big guy."
Allen weighed from 315-345 pounds during his college playing days. He said he weighed in at 329 on Friday before the Eagles' first practice of rookie minicamp. But the Eagles obviously like that he has the frame to add more mass if need be.
The Eagles signed a big-bodied nose tackle in free agency last year, but they traded Isaac Sopoaga in midseason as rookie Bennie Logan grew into the position.
The 6-2, 309-pound Logan doesn't have prototypical size for a nose tackle, though, and there were moments in the playoff loss to New Orleans when he struggled against the Saints' mammoth interior linemen.
The Eagles are still high on Logan, who has the versatility to play at spots across the defensive line. But Allen could compete with the second-year lineman for snaps in the Eagles' base defense.
The base scheme is a two-gap 3-4 up front. Allen played in a 4-3 in his first three years at Wisconsin and switched to a 3-4 last year. However, he had a different responsibility than he will with the Eagles.
"Last year at Wisconsin, I was playing backside 'B' gap," Allen said. "So that's one thing I'll just have to adjust to. I think I need to be a little more patient. We just had our first practice."
Kelly saw Allen up close when Wisconsin played Oregon in the 2011 Rose Bowl. Eagles defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro recruited Allen to Oregon out of high school to no avail, but attended his pro day and played a significant role in bringing him to Philadelphia.
Allen was also brought to the NovaCare Complex for a pre-draft visit. Kelly and his staff like to take their own measurements, but they also want to drill the prospects in the film room.
"I sat in a meeting room with the whole defensive staff and they put on a cutup of me and just said, 'Explain what you've been taught and what you're doing on each and every play,' Allen said. "It wasn't as relaxed maybe as some of the other interviews I went on."
Allen seems to have the toughness the Eagles are seeking. He didn't miss a game in four years at Wisconsin, setting a school record for games played (54). He was academic all-Big Ten three times.
"I think I'm the prototypical size for a nose tackle -- 6-foot-3. I weighed 329 today," Allen said. "But I think I play the game hard. I like to think I'm a smart football player."
The Eagles re-signed wide receiver Arrelious Benn to a one-year contract after releasing him last week. Benn was slated to earn $1.1 million this season under his original contract and likely came back at a lower figure. ... The Eagles signed two more draft picks, fourth-round cornerback Jaylen Watkins and fifth-round defensive tackle Taylor Hart, to four-year contracts. They also signed undrafted rookie defensive back Davon Morgan, who attended rookie camp as a tryout. Defensive back John Fulton was released.
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