The 2016 NFL Draft is officially over, and teams across the league are scrambling to sign the remaining group of talented players who didn’t hear their names called this past weekend.
The Buffalo Bills were no different.
After drafting TCU receiver Kolby Listenbee in the 6th round Saturday evening, the Bills decided they weren’t finished with adding playmakers to their offense.
Not long after the draft finished, Buffalo managed to ink former Marshall wideout Davonte’ Allen to a free agent contract.
Allen, a native of Belle Glade, Fla., played for the Thundering Herd for four seasons after being redshirted during his freshman year in 2011.
In the seasons that followed, the 6-foot-2, 208-pound receiver racked up impressive numbers as he totaled 101 receptions for 1,612 yards and 13 touchdowns in 46 career games.
He finished with 58 catches, 715 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Despite not getting drafted, Allen displayed impressive athleticism at Marshall’s pro day on March 9, running a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash, bench pressing 225 pounds 15 times, posting a 10-foot-8-inch broad jump and reaching a 39-inch vertical jump.
With that said, the former Thundering Herd playmaker is certainly an intriguing prospect for the Buffalo Bills.
Building the Herd recently caught up with the newest Bills receiver to find out a little more about him on and off the field.
Getting to Know Davonte’ Allen
How does it feel to be entering the NFL, and what was it like getting a call from the Bills?
DA- It was a dream come true. I’ve been waiting on this moment since I first started playing football at the age of 7. The pre-draft process is finally over, and now I’m ready to work.
You had a successful career at Marshall, but what made you choose the Thundering Herd over other offers like West Virginia, Miami or Kansas?
DA- On my visit, I fell in love with the campus, the city, the fans and everything The Herd stands for. It’s a team full of underdogs that love to play the game. Everything about Marshall involves tremendous passion. They had to deal with a lot of adversity during the time of the plane crash (in 1970), and you can tell the football team rebuilt the city. So, it was a great thing to be a part of.
Have you ever worked with Randy Moss?
DA- I’ve never had the chance to work with Randy Moss one-on-one, but I was on his team when he chose teams for our Spring Game my junior year. That was an interesting experience with him coaching me up and giving me pointers on the field. But, as far as private workouts or anything, I haven’t worked with him. One day I would love to get some work in with greatness, though.
Your high school coach Jessie Hester was a former NFL receiver. How much has he influenced your game?
DA- He made me believe I can make it in football on every level. He always said, “Boy, you’ve got what it takes. You’re special. All there is left to do is show the world.”
What do you think the best part of your game is, and what NFL receiver would you compare yourself to?
DA- The best part of my game is my knowledge of the game, as well as my playmaking ability. No matter the situation, I always feel like I can adjust to make a play on the ball. I love to display my natural ability, along with my intelligence in the game. I don’t really like making comparisons, but my favorite receiver to watch is Terrell Owens. He’s a physical beast with the mindset that nobody can guard him because he’s always one step ahead of you mentally.
You’re going from one Herd to another. What are your impressions on going to Buffalo, and how much contact did you have with the Bills throughout the draft process?
DA- Buffalo has great fans that I’m ready to make an impression on. The Bills stayed in contact with my agent and I every week from my pro day leading up to the draft. Literally, updates every week. I felt they showed the most interest out of all the teams, and it’s a great situation heading there. I’m just ready to make plays.
What are your expectations/goals heading into your rookie season?
DA- My goals going into my rookie season are to say humble, patient and ready. When my time comes, I’ll take full advantage of every opportunity to make a name for myself and to also represent my family on and off the field. I just need to continue to show my positive energy and everything will work out perfect. I prayed for times like this, and now it’s here. So, I’m ready to have fun with it and stay in the moment.
You graduated with a degree in Management and are working on your MBA. What are plans for after football?
DA- My plan for after football is just to enjoy life. I might make a couple of investments. My dad owns a couple Jamaican restaurants, so I’m sure I’ll be a part of them in the future. Other than that, I just want to enjoy my family and spend time with them.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to Bills fans about what they can expect from you on and off the field?
DA- Bills Mafia can expect a hardworking young man with strong faith who gives 1,000-percent in whatever he does. I love life, and love making people smile on and off the field. I’m filled with positive energy, and I’m ready to bring it to Buffalo, N.Y.
Bills fans, make sure to follow Davonte’ Allen on Twitter: @DAllen_3