As the Denver Broncos prepare for a Week 12 battle against the Carolina Panthers, they are having to do some roster tinkering. To fortify the special teams unit, the Broncos have signed former Rams seventh-round draft pick and Last Chance U star Dakota Allen, who played some college ball at Texas Tech as well as East Mississippi Community College before getting drafted into the NFL.
The Broncos had to poach Allen off of the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad, where he’s made four appearances this season including 57 special teams snaps and two total tackles. Over the course of his NFL career, Allen has primarily played on special teams, including playing almost 75 percent of the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ special teams snaps from 2020-2021.
New Denver Broncos special teamer Dakota Allen has ties to coaching staff
Although he didn’t necessarily work directly with him while a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Dakota Allen has some ties to Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who was a defensive assistant for the Rams prior to coming to Denver and his path crossed with Allen there for a year. More notably, Allen’s path crossed with Denver Broncos special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes, who was an assistant coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2019-2020.
In 2020, Allen was a core player for the Jaguars’ special teams unit. It wasn’t being coached by Stukes, but you can bet that Stukes knows well what he’s getting there from Allen in that phase of the game. Given the fact that his career started with the Los Angeles Rams, perhaps the Broncos’ defensive staff is also confident that Allen could play a role there if need be, although that’s not overly likely to be the case.
The Denver Broncos are currently dealing with a long list of injuries, and one of the latest is an injury to linebacker Jonas Griffith. The team had high hopes for Griffith this season, but he suffered an injury in the preseason and recently suffered another during practice. Luckily for the Broncos, Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton have been mostly awesome all year, but depth was needed after Griffith went down.
And that is what Allen will provide. In addition to playing a ton of special teams in 2020 with the Jaguars, he played a career-high 101 defensive snaps and finished with three tackles for loss among his final numbers for the year.
There’s no reason to overrate a move at this time of year, but the 27-year-old Allen could definitely come in and be an asset for the Broncos on special teams. In that way, it’s a welcomed addition. Anytime you can take starters (like Alex Singleton) out of the special teams rotation and replace them with actually good players in that phase, it’s a win for everyone.
The Denver Broncos have been incredibly disappointing offensively all season, but what three specific areas have stood out among the rest?
Hopefully, Allen is able to come in and make an instant impact for the Broncos. Maybe he will come in and make a game-changing hit or recover a muffed punt or something early on.