Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Eagles select safety Allen; then deal again and again

UPDATED, 8:53

Eagles select safety Allen; then deal again and again

The Eagles took South Florida safety Nate Allen with the 37th pick in the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)
The Eagles took South Florida safety Nate Allen with the 37th pick in the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)

UPDATED, 8:53

The Eagles have traded within the division for the second time this offseason, dealing the 55th overall pick to Dallas in exchange for the 59th overall pick and a fourth rounder, No. 125 overall.

Dallas used the 55th pick to select Penn State linebacker Sean Lee.

The Birds then moved down again, sending No. 59 to Cleveland in exchange for No. 71, 131 and 146. By adding the 71st pick, the Eagles get into the third round.

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And then they traded down once again, sending No. 71 to Green Bay for 83 in the third round and No. 122.

That gives them four picks in the fourth round: 105, 121, 122, 125, along with 134 and 146 in the fifth, 200 in the sixth and 243 and 244 in the seventh.

EARLIER:

The Eagles stayed on defense at the start of the second round, selecting South Florida safety Nate Allen at No. 37.

Allen said the Eagles showed interest in him at the combine. “I’m just so excited to be an Eagle,” he said.

The pick was acquired from Washington in the Donovan McNabb trade.

Asked about being taken with the McNabb pick, Allen said: “It’s great. I’m just honored to be an Eagle. I’m just glad coach [Andy] Reid and everybody had faith in me. I’m so glad and I’m just ready to get up and just start working hard and I’m just excited. I’m at a loss of words, I’m so excited.”

Indications were that the Eagles had serious interest in Mississippi running back Dexter McCluster, but he was selected one pick earlier at No. 36 by Kansas City. The Birds might have been looking at McCluster at No. 55, were he still available.

Allen played in 48 games, starting his final 39 contests at free safety for South Florida. For his career, he had 224 tackles and nine interceptions (fourth in school history). As a senior, he was an all-Big East first-team selection, starting 13 games at free safety. He had four interceptions and helped the Bulls lead the Big East in pass defense (186.31 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (113.39 rating).

"Wherever I'm needed, if they want me to play special teams, whatever, I'm there," he said.

Allen got the news at a draft party in his hometown of Fort Myers, Fla.

He was originally recruited as a quarterback and also played some on offense at South Florida.

“I think it was definitely beneficial," he said. "It’s a big step from being a college quarterback. Just as far as knowing what quarterbacks look at, their checks maybe, how they look off receivers. Just the quarterback mentality a little.”

Asked about criticism of his inconsistent tackling, Allen said, “That’s their opinion and I’m just going to come in and try to show everybody that I can tackle, be a consistent tackler and just always improve. I can always improve in everything.”

The Eagles also are slated to pick at No. 55 in the second round tonight. They traded their two third-round picks to move up to select Brandon Graham in the first round last night.

The draft concludes tomorrow and the Birds have five picks: Nos. 105 and 121 in the fourth round, 200 in the sixth round and 243 and 244 in the seventh round.

MEET NATE ALLEN

Name: Nate Allen
School: South Florida
Position: Safety
Height, weight: 6-foot, 207
Hometown: Cape Coral, Fla.
Birthdate: Nov. 30, 1987
The numbers: Played in 48 games at USF, and started his final 39 games at free safety. Total of nine interceptions (four as a senior), and 12 passes defended (four as a senior).
Pro day: Ran a 4.52 for the 40 during his campus pro day and also bench-pressed 225 pounds 16 times. Has a 34-inch vertical leap.
Against the run: Nearly half of his 224 career tackles (108) came against the run and 27 came on third down.
On offense: Originally recruited as a quarterback, he did make two catches for 27 yards as a receiver at South Florida. In high school, he threw for more than 5,000 yards and broke all the school’s passing records.
To the house: Scored three career touchdowns at South Florida — an 11-yard reception, a 3-yard fumble return and a 37-yard interception return. The fumble return and the interception return came in back-to-back weeks in 2007.
On the court: Had as many scholarship offers to play basketball as football. His father, Jackie, played hoosp professionally in Europe.

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To read our earlier coverage, including a report from first-rounder Brandon Graham's press conference, click here.

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