Every year, the staff at The Phinsider breaks down the team’s roster, trying their best to predict which players will ultimately make the cut as preseason progresses. In the NFL, each team carries 90 players heading into training camp, which is eventually narrowed down to 53 before the regular season begins. During this series, we break down the player’s 2017 season, why they might progress or regress, and what their odds are of making the 53-man roster. For today’s installment of 90-in-90, we take a look at Dolphins’ linebacker Chase Allen.
As a team, the Dolphins’ linebacking corps struggled mightily in 2017. The unit remained one of the weakest on defense, if not the entire team. Despite the sub-par play at linebacker, one of thewas 24-year old Chase Allen from Southern Illinois. It wasn’t planned that Allen would see as many reps as he did in 2017, but he was able to hold his own and proved his worth on Miami’s 53-man roster. Last season, Allen combined for 40 total tackles, 11 of those were solo. According to Pro Football Reference, Allen was on the field for 219 (20.94%) of the team’s defensive snaps. He also contributed on special teams, playing 355 (79.60%) of Miami’s special team reps. These numbers could increase in 2018
Why he will progress
They say the game slows down for players in their second season. It also helps when the coaching staff remains intact, which holds true for the 2018 Miami Dolphins. In his second NFL season, Chase Allen will once again be coached by defensive coordinator Matt Burke. As a rookie, Allen proved to be an intelligent player and showed the skills to succeed in the NFL. Allen will be battling for a role position, and will likely make the 53-man roster based on his special teams play, which was exceptional last season. Furthermore, linebacker continues to be an area of weakness, and there’s no reason to think Allen won’t get better at middle linebacker or wherever else he is asked to play. Though he likely won’t start, his value as depth is key
Why he will regress
Opportunities. If Chase Allen fails to make the 53-man roster, it’s because he failed to progress during OTAs, mini camps, training camp and preseason. It also means another player at linebacker seized the moment and out shined the second-year player. Though unlikely, another undrafted linebacker could step up and unseat Allen. Nevertheless, it will come down to who can play better in pass coverage, and make a bigger impact on special teams. For now, advantage Allen.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
As stated earlier, linebacker is a significant area of weakness on the Dolphins’ defense. Unless a player steps up and makes an immediate impact this offseason, I can’t see a scenario in which Chase Allen doesn’t make the 53-man roster. His role on special teams is critical, and based on that alone should solidify his spot on Miami’s opening day roster. I look forward to watching Allen’s NFL career continue, and anxious to see him take the next step in year two.