Player Spotlight: Wisconsin Running Back Braelon Allen

Northwestern v Wisconsin
Northwestern v Wisconsin / John Fisher/GettyImages

College: Wisconsin

Age (Draft Day): 19

Position: Running Back

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 245 pounds

40-yard dash time: 4.40 seconds


As a four-star prospect, Allen pledged to play football for the University of Wisconsin–Madison on July 14, 2020, becoming the school's first recruit for the 2022 class. Allen's initial role at Wisconsin was confined to special teams play. However, as the team stumbled to a 1-3 start, he began receiving playing time alongside starting tailback Chez Mellusi. The departure of redshirt freshman tailback Jalen Berger and three other running backs further expanded Allen's opportunities. In the fifth game against Illinois, Allen recorded his first career 100-yard rushing performance. By early November, with Mellusi sidelined by a season-ending injury, Allen had established himself as the team's primary running back. His breakthrough performance came in the 2021 Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona State, where he rushed for 159 yards and earned MVP honors. On November 28, 2023, Allen declared his intention to enter the 2024 NFL Draft.


Physical Specimen: Allen possesses a rare blend of size, strength, and speed that makes him a nightmare for opposing defenses. His 6'2", 245-pound frame allows him to power through tackles, while his 4.40-second 40-yard dash time gives him the ability to outrun defenders. It's rare to find a back that has both.

True Home-Run Speed: Allen's ability to break away for long runs is a game-changer, and truly makes him special. He has the speed and explosiveness to turn any carry into a potential touchdown, making him a constant threat to score from anywhere on the field.

Good Inside Runner: While Allen excels in breaking off big runs, he is also a capable inside runner. He can pick up tough yards between the tackles, using his power and vision to navigate through traffic.


Ball Carrier Vision: At times, Allen can struggle with his vision. He can miss cut-back lanes and run into defenders, limiting his potential to maximize his opportunities.

Runs Too Upright: Allen occasionally runs too upright, making him easier to tackle. Lowering his pad level would improve his balance and ability to power through tackles.

Not the Most Elusive Runner: Allen isn't the most elusive of runners, lacking the quick feet and agility to consistently make defenders miss in open space. However, his combination of power and speed makes him a difficult runner to stop.

NFL Comparison: Jonathon Taylor

When recruiting running backs, Wisconsin has a type. They value backs with elite size and speed, which both Taylor and Allen have in common. When Taylor is healthy, he is one of the most explosive backs in the NFL. Allen has the same physical tools to dominate at the next level.

Draft Projection: 2nd or 3rd Round

Braelon Allen is projected to be a 2nd or 3rd-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. He is a talented running back with a lot of potential to be a successful player at the next level. His physicality, speed, and power make him a versatile threat who can contribute in multiple ways. However, he needs to continue to develop his vision and lower his pad level when running inside to reach his full potential.

There is no doubt that Braelon Allen is one of the stars in college football. However, the NFL has shown that they do not take a running back in the first round unless they are an elite prospect. His unique combination of size, strength, and speed makes him a rare talent who has the potential to be a dominant force in the NFL, but he isn't quite an elite-level prospect. With continued development, Allen could become a household name in the league.