Why former Wisconsin football running back Braelon Allen didn't run the 40 at pro day

Mar 15, 2024

Braelon Allen’s sweat covered his shirt and dripped off his beard as he approached a group of reporters Friday.
The former University of Wisconsin football running back and NFL Draft hopeful (rated No. 107 overall and No. 5 running back by NFLDraftScout.com)  was a bit out of breath after he went through on-field drills led by NFL personnel during the Badgers' pro day at the McClain Center. However, one of the biggest question marks about Allen entering the day remains a mystery after the workout.
Allen didn’t run the 40-yard dash or participate in agility drills, opting to run routes and catch passes during former quarterback Tanner Mordecai’s workout and go through a series of running-back specific work. Allen said the high ankle sprain he suffered against Ohio State last season — an ailment that cost him two and a half games — took longer than expected to heal, and while he considered running at the pro day, he decided to let his tape stand for itself.
“(I) was kind of playing it by ear,” Allen said. “Trying to get healthy, and everything kind of took longer than we had hoped for. I had kind of a short window to train and I just didn't feel comfortable with where I was at to put those numbers on paper — not that they would have been bad, but they wouldn’t have been what I was hoping for or expecting.”
Feedback from NFL clubs has been generally good, Allen said. He hasn’t decided where he’ll be for the NFL Draft (April 25-27), in which he’s projected anywhere from a third- to a sixth-round pick, but he’ll be around Madison and his hometown of Fond du Lac in the coming weeks. Allen said moves made in NFL free agency this week changed things for the running back market, and draft reporters from ESPN and the NFL Network have said this season’s running back class isn’t seen as particularly strong, so projecting where these players will land is tricky.
Former Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen attends the Badgers' pro day Friday at the McClain Center in Madison. The NFL hopeful went through on-field work but didn't run the 40-yard dash or participate in agility drills.
Wisconsin featured Allen as its lead running back for three seasons and he produced 984 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns last fall. He finished his career with 3,494 rushing yards, which ranks ninth all-time in program history and second among Wisconsin rushers to only play three seasons, behind Jonathan Taylor (6,174).
Allen said playing through his injury the last two weeks of the regular season — wins against Nebraska and Minnesota that ensured the Badgers would play in a bowl game for the 22nd consecutive season — set back his recovery timeline “a few more weeks.”
Allen is expecting to conduct some virtual meetings and potentially some visits with teams between now and the draft. He said he feels the draft process has gone well despite not knowing quite what to expect from it.
“You know you're gonna have interviews,” Allen said, “you have to do the (NFL Scouting Combine), pro day, things like that. But what comes along with it is probably a little different than anybody would expect but it's all been good.”

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