Jonathan Allen continues to collect national recognition for his performance in 2021.
Allen, who was one of the most successful interior pass-rushers in the NFL last season, has been ranked No. 88 on the league's annual Top 100 players list, placing him in an elite group ahead of the 2022 season. It is the first time in his career that Allen has made the list.
"You get a lot of guys that stutter and float looking for an opportunity," said head coach Ron Rivera. "Jonathan just goes forward, and it's the quickest route to the quarterback."
Allen, a first-round pick by Washington in 2017, is known for his reliability, toughness and intense work ethic. He was given a contract extension ahead of the 2021 season, and he responded by doubling down on the qualities that convinced Washington to keep him on the roster for the foreseeable future.
Allen was the team's best pass-rusher last season, recording career highs in sacks (9) and quarterback hits (30). He was on par with Aaron Donald and Javon Hargrave in terms of efficiency, according Pro Football Focus’ metrics, with a pass-rushing grade of 90.9 among interior defenders.
That performance is what earned Allen his first Pro Bowl, which the five-year veteran called a "rewarding" experience.
"I feel like it's a reward for a great season, personally," Allen told Julie Donaldson back in February. "Everyone's goal is to be able to make a Pro Bowl."
Allen's placement on the list is the latest accolade the defensive tackle has received in the past eight months. Aside from his Pro Bowl selection, he was named among the best defensive tackles by PFF, and the Pro Football Writers of America listed him on their All-NFC team. Allen is also a top five defensive tackle in the Madden 23 video game with a 92 overall rating.
"He's a young man that I think really fits the football team and also fits the community," Rivera said. "I think the thing about him…is that he's a guy that has had and is having success in his career. He earned a contract extension; he signed it, and he continues to play at that top level."
It's another honor for Allen, but the defensive tackle has a reputation of not dwelling long on personal achievements. After taking the day to recover from Saturday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, he'll get back to work preparing for Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The kind of mentality is exactly what earns him so much respect around the league.
"If I go out there and do what I'm supposed to do, play hard, play physical, make sure I'm in the best shape of my life and my preparation is on point, I feel like no matter what the outcome is, I'll be happy with what I did."