The Los Angeles Rams may have found themselves a gem in the middle rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Selected with the No. 175 pick overall, tight end Davis Allen was phenomenal in this preseason debut against the Las Vegas Raiders and had head coach Sean McVey marveling.
The former Clemson tight end made his mark in the team’s second preseason game with eight catches on eight targets for 53 yards.
That offensive performance was highlighted by this nice 15-yard reception up the seam in which Allen went up high to snag a pass with two defenders draped all over him.
Take a look:
Former Clemson tight end Davis Allen looking to make his mark with Rams
At 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, Allen wasn’t touted as one of the top tight ends in the draft, but he is an athletic rookie whose strength includes mid-air graps and blocking. Both of those aspects of his game was on display during his preseason outing that earned him an A- from NFL.com for rookie performances in Week 2 of the preseason.
Draft analyst Chad Reuter writes:
"“The fifth-round pick blocked well, sealing the edge, climbing to the second level on run plays and moving his feet to sustain in pass protection. He missed a couple of blocks in space on the Rams’ touchdown drive late in the third quarter, however. As a receiver, he lined up all over the field and snared a high pass down the seam in the second quarter. Allen was a nice safety valve and proved tough to tackle in the flat and over the middle. Allen led the team with eight catches for 53 yards.”"
Allen won’t wow you as far as size and strength, but he is a player who can go up and get it and could give the Rams another target in the Red Zone and on key third-down plays to move the chain. He obviously still has room to grow as a pass-catching tight end, but if he is able to translate his blocking ability to the pro level, he should morph into a great value for the Rams.
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McVay was obviously impressed by his rookie tight in in the game.
"“Targeted eight times, makes eight catches…but I thought he competed well without the ball also,” McVay said following the game. “It was an awesome debut for him.”"
It was also the type of performance that can give a young player a ton of confidence. Just the preseason, but Davis Allen showed off his natural hands in his debut and has a chance to learn and develop behind Tyler Higbee, another tight end who came in the league with low expectations who now stars at the position for the Rams.
Has McVay struck gold again? So far, so good for the young rookie tight end.