Devon Allen is one of the best hurdlers in the world, yet making the Philadelphia Eagles is going to be the largest hurdle he has to clear. Allen was an intriguing pre-camp storyline, coming off a world championship final appearance in the 110-meter hurdles and recording the third-fastest time in history, but he hasn't found his footing in the three weeks since camp began.
Allen finally showcased glimpses of his world-class speed in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns, connecting on a 55-yard touchdown from Reid Sinnett in the third quarter that gave Philadelphia the lead for good. On a deep post, Allen used his speed to burn past two Browns defenders and stretch his arms out to corral the ball and score the touchdown.
The Eagles envisioned Allen getting to this point in training camp. The fruits of his labor paid off.
"I'm starting to get more comfortable with the offense," Allen said after the game. "With the help of DeVonta (Smith) and A.J. (Brown) and those guys -- watching them do what they're supposed to do correctly and trying to mimic that. I'm starting to feel more comfortable every day."
Allen still is a long shot to make the 53-man roster at wide receiver in a talented room. Smith, Brown, Quez Watkins, and Zach Pascal are roster locks -- and the competition isn't any easier for the fifth and sixth spots. Jalen Reagor is a former first-round pick and it costs more for the Eagles in salary cap space to cut him than keep him, while Deon Cain is having an impressive summer. Britain Covey is also in contention for a roster spot, but the shine seems to be wearing off with some uninspiring preseason performances. Then there's Greg Ward, who always plays his way into roster consideration with his reliability on special teams and in the return game.
Still learning the football game after taking a five-year hiatus from the sport, there may be a spot reserved on the practice squad for Allen. Sunday showcased the speedy wide receiver is making progress in his new career.
"You can see him getting up and feeling better every day," Sinnett said. "I am really happy for him that he got a touchdown and I think he has worked really hard to be in the position to make plays. I am really happy for him."