SCOOBA – Linebacker Dakota Allen became the sixth East Mississippi Community College player in the last seven years to be selected in the NFL Draft after being picked in the seventh round by the reigning NFC champion Los Angeles Rams during this week's 2019 NFL Draft held in Nashville.
Allen, who spent his sophomore season helping lead the 2016 EMCC Lions to an 11-1 record and No. 2 national ranking in the final NJCAA poll, was the 37th pick of the seventh round and 251st selection overall in this year's NFL Draft.
Allen sandwiched his one standout year on the Scooba campus between three solid seasons at Texas Tech University. As a two-time team captain for the Red Raiders, Allen was credited with 262 career tackles, including 18.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, along with four pass interceptions, 11 pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. This past year as a senior, the Humble, Texas native was Texas Tech's second-leading tackler with 73 stops, including 6.5 tackles for loss. The 6-foot-1, 232-pound linebacker also totaled 102 tackles as a junior and 87 stops as a redshirt freshman for the Red Raiders.
As a sophomore at East Mississippi, Allen ranked eighth nationally among NJCAA leaders with 117 total tackles in addition to having an interception, five pass breakups, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble during the year for the MACJC state champions. Selected to the 2016 NJCAA All-Region 23 squad and MACJC All-State/North Division First Team, Allen was a two-time MACJC Defensive Player of the Week honoree. He picked up his first state-wide defensive honor after totaling a season-high 16 tackles with an interception and a pass breakup during EMCC's season opener versus Jones College.
Allen becomes the fifth defensive player and sixth player overall from five-time national champion East Mississippi Community College under the guidance of head coach Buddy Stephens to be selected in the NFL Draft since 2013. Two years ago, the EMCC Lions had defensive lineman D.J. Jones (6th round; 198th pick) and quarterback Chad Kelly (7th round; 253rd pick as the NFL's "Mr. Irrelevant"), both out of Ole Miss, picked by the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, respectively. Prior to that, three former EMCC defensive linemen who also starred at Southeastern Conference member schools were selected in the NFL Draft. Jarran Reed, by way of the University of Alabama, was a second-round pick (49th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2016 NFL Draft, while former Kentucky Wildcat and recent Green Bay Packers acquisition Za'Darius Smith went in the fourth round (122nd overall) to the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. EMCC's string of recent NFL draftees was kicked off by former two-time BCS national champion Quinton Dial of the Alabama Crimson Tide as a fifth-round selection (157th overall) of the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Allen was a three-star prospect out of Summer Creek High School in Houston, Texas.