by Matt Minarik
There are times when you just have to take a chance. Low risk, high reward chances can benefit a team greatly if that team hits on the right player. For reference, just look at Jordan Mailata. The Eagles signed former Oregon Ducks Wide Receiver Devon Allen to a 3-year contract. Allen, who was wearing track spikes more recently than football spikes is a player that can be a diamond in the rough for the Birds. But who is he?
THE FOOTBALL PLAYER
Allen was a wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks from 2014-to 16. He played in 23 games catching 54 passes for 919 yards and 8 touchdowns. What stands out the most about those numbers is his yards-per-catch. He averaged 17.0 yards per reception. One of his biggest games came in the second game of his college career. The #3 ranked Ducks defeated the #7 Michigan State Spartans. Allen had 3 receptions for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns including an 80-yard touchdown reception.
THE TRACK STAR
Devon Allen is a three-time U.S. National Champion in the 110-meter hurdles. He won twice while at the University of Oregon and once as an amateur representing Nike. He is also a two-time Olympian. He finished 5th in 2016 and 4th in 2021. Although signing with the Eagles he still hopes to attend USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in June and the world championships in July.
On the opening kickoff of the 2015 Rose Bowl Game, Allen suffered a torn ACL and MCL to his right knee and also suffered meniscus damage. To make matters worse while defending a punt during a game against Nebraska on September 17, 2016, he suffered the same injury but this time to his left knee. That was the last time he played football. After rehabbing his injury, he put his focus on Track & Field.
Whether the 27-year-old Allen succeeds in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles remains to be seen but if he does, he will give the Eagles another speed option to go along with DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins. If he doesn’t see the field as a wide receiver, he could just as well be that return man the Eagles have desperately needed for the past (too many to count) years.