Why you should be excited about fifth-round pick Brian Allen:
-He showed what the Steelers perceived to be promising cornerback capabilities in 2016 despite being relatively new to the position. Allen converted from wide receiver in 2014 and only started for one season at cornerback at Utah.
-The Steelers like the size Allen is able to apply to press-man coverage (6-foot-31/8, 215 pounds) and still be able to run with most receivers (4.43 in the 40-yard dash). Defensive backs coach Carnell Lake also likes Allen's leaping ability (34.5-inch vertical jump), particularly as it relates to defending the deep ball. "He's a good jumper with good ball skills," Lake said. "It's going to be tough for guys to throw that over his head."
-Allen recorded four of his five interceptions in 2016, including a two-interception game at UCLA.
-Lake liked the physicality Allen applied to tackling, even as a player who was still developing after transitioning to defense. "The way he attacks the ball-carrier, I think he can help Coach (Danny) Smith's (special teams) room and the special teams," Lake said. "I'm sure with his size they'll be using him quite a bit on special teams early on."