After two honorable mention campaigns, including a monster 2011 in which he had 11 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss, Allen showed consistency in earning second team All-Big Ten accolades by racking up 83 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks during the regular season in 2013.
STRENGTHS: Excellent athlete who plays with downhill explosiveness. Very instinctive playmaker with three years of full-time starting experience for the Spartans. Natural ability in space, routinely diagnosing plays early, reads the quarterback and takes good angles to the ball.
WEAKNESSES: Short at just under 6-feet and may need to show he can add bulk without losing seed and quickness. Appears overmatched at times by bigger blockers. At times targeted by opponents leaving a running back or tight end to chip away on his edge rushes and blitzes.
04/21/2014 - Five players who should be on Cincinnati's draft radar: LB Denicos Allen, Michigan State: With James Harrison no longer on the roster, the Bengals will have a new SAM linebacker in 2013 and adding a player like Allen to compete for the job makes sense. He produced consistent numbers the past three seasons as a starter, leading the country's top-rated defense in tackles as a senior. Allen lacks ideal height and plays straight-linish, but his reaction time, play speed and nose for the ball stand out. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and is accustomed to proving doubters wrong, something I expect him to do in the NFL, at the very least on special teams coverages. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com