40 time: 5.25
Snapshot: If it seems like Allen has been firing snaps at center for Michigan State for the past 20 years, you're only partly mistaken.
Along with his older brothers Jack (a two-time All-American for MSU who spent time with several NFL teams) and Brian (a four-year letterman for the Spartans now in his fourth season with the Los Angeles Rams), the Allen siblings have been manning the pivot for the Spartans for the past 10 consecutive years, with Matt opting to play a sixth year in East Lansing prior to making the jump to the pros.
Allen could have been drafted a year ago, but he suffered an unspecified foot injury that caused him to miss six of the seven games of Michigan State's pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, starting just the opener against Rutgers. Showing his commitment to the program, Allen returned healthy in 2021 and started all 12 contests, giving him 29 starts for his career with the Spartans and 43 games overall.
Strengths: Possesses a short, stubby and powerful build conducive to winning the leverage battles along the line of scrimmage. Generates consistent movement as a drive blocker, surging forward with impressive core and lower-body strength and reliable hand placement. Shows savvy timing when switching off his initial target at defensive tackle to move on to crashing linebackers, efficiently climbing to the second level. Stout anchor in pass protection against bull rushers, keeping his butt down, feet sprawled and hands locked in tight. Good awareness and competitiveness on combo blocks and able to diagnose twists, stunts and blitzes. Accomplished wrestler at the high school level (a 285-pound state champion as a senior and runner-up as a junior with a combined 86-4 record over those two seasons) and his core strength and understanding of leverage and balance show in his gritty play.
Weaknesses: Blue-collar tough guy who can win in a phone booth but struggles the more he is asked to move. Heavy feet which can be exposed when he's asked to block on the move. Struggles to redirect to moving targets at the second level. Short arms likely make him a center-only prospect. Requires a thorough medical evaluation as he missed at least three games (13 total) each year over the 2018-20 seasons.
NFL comp: T.J. Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals (retired) - Just as Johnson was at South Carolina, Allen was a highly accomplished college center but athletic limitations and injuries cut short his NFL career. Allen has bulk, power and grit and that combination will get him an opportunity.