By Chris Emma–
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (CBS) — Any scout will affirm that the most important part of the NFL Combine isn’t the 40-yard dash, the bench press or the vertical jump. It’s the medical check.
Testing of the prospects’ health is the most vital step of the week in Indianapolis, with the information having the potential to move a player down the draft board. Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen now runs with more of that risk.
A projected top-five pick in April’s draft, the 22-year-old Allen has undergone surgery for labral tears in both shoulders, which left him with a moderate case of arthritis, as first documented by Pro Football Talk. Such a condition may remain through his entire NFL career.
Dr. Lyle Cain, Alabama’s team doctor, believes that Allen’s shoulders shouldn’t be a hindrance in his play.
“Jonathan has really played without symptoms in his shoulders, and it’s something that has not affected his performance or function,” Cain told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. “It doesn’t have to be treated during the season. And he’s had a couple of great years.
“This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It’s just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college.”
Allen posted 69 tackles and 10.5 sacks in his senior season, winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Ted Hendricks Award.
The Bears will be among teams looking closely into Allen’s medical history. He has been projected as a potential fit for their No. 3 selection.