An in-depth look at NY Jets rookie running back Braelon Allen

What should Jets fans expect from running back Braelon Allen?
Braelon Allen
Braelon Allen / David Berding/GettyImages

With the 134th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select Braelon Allen, running back, Wisconsin.

After trading back three times on Day 3, Joe Douglas and company decided to go the running back route and add yet another weapon for Nathaniel Hackett to use on offense. Allen comes out of Wisconsin at just 20 years old, making him the youngest player in this year’s draft.

What can Jets fans expect from Braelon Allen? Let’s take a deeper look into his collegiate career, Combine results, expert comparisons, and more.

Braelon Allen's measurables and achievements

At 6-foot-1, weighing 235 pounds, Braelon Allen has the physical build to succeed in the NFL. In his three years as a starter, Allen rushed for over 1,000 yards twice, which would’ve been three times if not for a lower leg injury in 2023.

1,268 yards in 2021 and 1,242 in 2022 earned Allen second-team All-Big Ten honors, and 984 yards in 2023 earned him third-team All-Big Ten honors.

Scouts note his frame and build as NFL-ready and explain his running style as a bruiser. Allen relies on his instincts and uses his strength to break tackles and maintain balance as a downhill runner. He has good open-field speed with reliable hands to catch passes out in the flats.

Perhaps most important for the Jets, he performs well in protection duties. He has the vision to identify and diagnose proper protection details. This, combined with his reliable hands, makes him a passing-down threat.

Allen has some typical mid-round running back flaws, such as a slow get-off leading to middling acceleration. He prefers running in straight lines and lacks the elusiveness of top-NFL backs.

Although his vision as a pass protector is above average, his technique and base while blocking need some work. This is where the Jets coaching staff hopes they can develop him and turn him into the player they envision.

Braelon Allen's NFL Combine and prospect ratings

As a part of’s draft coverage, experts rank rookie prospects and assign them grades. This ranking has him as the 10th-best overall running back prospect, and he was the 11th running back taken overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Allen was given a 6.10, which correlates to “a good backup with the potential to develop into a starter.” With Breece Hall leading the charge, Allen fits the prospect grade very well.

At the NFL Combine, Allen did not participate in any running drills as he was still dealing with the lower leg injury sustained in his 2023 collegiate campaign. He did, however, post the second-best bench press, putting up 27 reps and showcasing his strength, which the Jets plan to put to good use.

The leader was Blake Corum from Michigan, who had just one more rep with 28 and was taken in the third round by the Los Angeles Rams.

Braelon Allen's player comparisons

Given NFL scouts’ player comparisons, fans can better understand what to expect when it comes to the newest player added to their favorite teams. has Braelon Allen’s player comparison as Michael Bush, a running back drafted out of Louisville in 2007 by the then Oakland Raiders.

Bush never had a 1,000-yard season but came close in 2011 with 977 yards. He averaged 4.0 yards per carry in his career and finished with 29 touchdowns alongside four fumbles.

Bleacher Report provides a player comparison of A.J. Dillion, current Green Bay Packers RB2 behind Josh Jacobs. With 4.1 yards per carry, Dillion has 2,428 yards on 597 carries. He excels in catching passes out of the backfield with 763 yards on 110 targets, averaging 8.9 yards per catch.

For a fourth-round pick, the Jets aimed for a downhill runner whose upside comes on passing downs. Hoping to coach him in technique, the Jets plan for Allen to become a multi-faceted threat on third down.

While he has the strength and ability to be Aaron Rodgers’ personal protector, he also has to ability to catch balls out of the backfield and pick up some yards after the catch. As for protecting Rodgers, he seems to be ready for the opportunity.