QB Allen sticks to winging it

By: Bob Holt
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen throws during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen throws during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Austin Allen limited his workout to throwing passes Monday during the Arkansas Razorbacks' pro day inside the Walker Pavilion.

Allen, who started at quarterback the past two seasons, decided against doing any drills because he was satisfied with what he did at the NFL combine.

"I got my 4.8," Allen said of his 40-yard dash time. "That was all I was hoping for. Probably the fastest I'll ever run. I just wanted to come out and really focus on throwing."

Allen completed nearly all of his passes to a variety of receivers Monday with scouts and coaches from all 32 NFL teams in attendance.

"I thought I threw it well at the combine and then well here," Allen said. "I missed maybe one throw, two throws where it was not in the right spot. But overall, I threw it how I wanted to and how I know I can."

Running back David Williams, who played at Arkansas last season as a graduate transfer from South Carolina, caught several of Allen's passes.

"Austin was on the money today," Williams said. "He looked super sharp."

Allen said he wasn't nervous Monday, nor was he at the combine or when he played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, an all-star game for former college players.

In five series at the NFLPA game played at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 20, Allen completed 6 of 9 passes for 75 yards.

"It's just playing football. It's routes on air," Allen said. "That's really what they're coming to watch and I've been doing that since I was in junior high.

"There's really no need to get nervous about it."

Allen missed four games his senior season because of a right shoulder injury.

"Overall, I just wanted to come out and show that I was 100 percent healthy and back to myself," he said. "I thought I did that.

"I feel as good as I ever have. It's been nice not waking up sore the past few months. I feel good and I'm just getting healthier."

The NFL Draft is April 26-28.

"Whatever happens, happens," Allen said. "I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself. Just being in this position is already a dream come true.

"I'm just looking for a team where I'm the right fit. Hopefully, I get drafted. But if not, then I know it'll all work out."

Liddell tones up

Former University of Arkansas, Fayetteville safety Josh Liddell, who made 177 tackles in 50 games, did some drills shirtless and displayed a muscular upper body.

"The funny thing is I'm actually down 7 pounds from when the season ended, but I toned up more," Liddell said. "Built up more speed in my muscle and explosiveness and it worked out for me."

Liddell ran the 40 in 4.5 seconds, had a vertical jump of 36 inches, did 14 bench-press repetitions of 225 pounds and went 10 feet, 9 inches in the broad jump.

"It was a really good day," he said. "I just wanted to come out and showcase my abilities, my athleticism and my speed."

Waiting game

Former Arkansas defensive back Henre Toliver said he felt solid about his performance at pro day and working with the scouts and coaches from NFL teams.

"I take everything with a sponge and just use it," he said. "Obviously, they're there in the NFL for a reason, so you know they have a lot of knowledge. I just take it and run with it."

Toliver attended the NFL combine.

"I'm proud of myself," he said. "A lot of people don't get the combine invite. I got it.

"I showed up and did my best. It was a tough experience, though, don't get me wrong. It was early mornings, long days, late nights. That's how they want it, but I think I handled it pretty well."

Toliver said NFL teams have talked to him about playing cornerback and nickel back.

"You think about it, but there's nothing you can really do," he said about getting drafted. "It's a waiting game now."

5-flat for Jackson

Former Arkansas defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson said he heard from scouts Monday that he ran 5.0 seconds in the 40.

"Obviously, at 330 [pounds], that's a real good time for me," he said.

Jackson bench-pressed 225 pounds 22 times and said he heard good feedback on his workout overall.

"I talked to a couple of the scouts after the position drills, and they told me that I definitely helped myself," he said. "A lot of them feel I'm versatile, especially after the way I moved around today."

Coach B

Bret Bielema, Arkansas' coach the past five seasons before being fired, has been working with the New England Patriots. He attended the NFL combine and has been at some college teams' pro days, including Alabama's.


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"I saw him at the combine," Austin Allen said. "He's helping out the Patriots with scouting, and that's the right man for the job right there. He's got so many guys in the league right now that he's coached.

"It's a testament to him being able to evaluate talent and get them ready for the pros. He's a great coach, great person. He's going to land on his feet very, very well."

Allen said he loves Bielema.

"That's my coach," he said. "He's the guy that gave me an opportunity to play at the SEC level and gave me a shot to start. I have nothing but respect for Coach B."

Allen said he spoke with Chad Morris, who replaced Bielema as Arkansas' coach, for about 10 minutes Monday.

"He's the real deal," Allen said. "He's full of energy, and I think he's the right man to lead this team."

'Duwop' back

Damon "Duwop" Mitchell, a former Arkansas quarterback, running back and receiver who played at Rutgers last season as a graduate transfer, worked out Monday and caught passes from Austin Allen.

"Duwop, he's just trying to get in front of as many scouts as he can," Allen said. "That's kind of how it goes in this process."

Sports on 03/27/2018


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