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Redskins Select Jonathan Allen of Alabama with 17th Pick of the 2017 NFL Draft

The Redskins got a player they never felt they would have the chance to take on Thursday night in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, as they were able to select Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen with the 17th pick.

Allen ended up being available due to a number of circumstances in the first round that included trades as well as surprise picks all over the place.

From the moment the Chicago Bears traded up to take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky second overall, little about Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft unfolded as predicted. A draft class loaded with defensive talent instead saw a run on offensive players, with two quarterbacks and three wide receivers chosen among the top 10.

The upshot proved a blessing for the Washington Redskins, who badly needed to shore up their defense and headed into the proceedings with a wish list designed to do just that.

“Never in a million years,” as Coach Jay Gruden later put it, did Redskins executives think that Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen would still be available when they chose 17th overall. Regarding as a top-10 pick — top-five, in the minds of some — the 6-foot-3, 286-pound Allen had won the 2016 Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski awards as the top defensive player on the nation’s top defense.

Regarded as a first-round pick after his outstanding junior year, Allen chose instead to return to Alabama for his senior season to hone his skills and toughen his run defense. Under Coach Nick Saban’s tutelage, he blossomed further, leading Alabama with 10½ sacks and had 69 tackles, including 16 for a loss.

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