It's a widely-regarded belief that the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald is the best defensive tackle and one of the best overall players in the NFL.
There won't be any arguments disputing that here, but the Washington Football Team's Jonathan Allen has been just as dominant this season. That's as good an indicator as any that the fifth-year pro has earned some recognition.
Allen, signed a four-year extension before the beginning of the season, has earned every bit of that new deal so far. On top of his 34 tackles, which leads the team's defensive linemen, he's also tied for the second-most sacks among all interior defensive linemen. That's why you should take some time to vote Allen to his first Pro Bowl, then check out his stats below and vote again.
"He's physical at the point of attack, more so than anything else," said head coach Ron Rivera. "You get a lot of guys that stutter and float looking for an opportunity. Jonathan just goes forward, and it's the quickest route to the quarterback."
Allen has the strength to bulldoze offensive linemen, but Rivera said Allen's hump move is one of his deadliest as a pass rusher. Perfected by Reggie White, it involved attacking an opponent's outside leg, dipping a forearm underneath their armpit and pushing them to the ground.
Rivera won't go as far as to say that Allen's version of the move is as effective as White's, but it's pretty good.
"It gives him a chance to get vertical and get into the quarterback's lap and cause problems," Rivera said.
Allen has been working on the move for some time now. Former Washington defensive line coach Jim Tomsula taught it to him when he first entered the league, and he spent "countless" hours working on it.
Allen likes the move because it suits his physical playing style.
"It's a more powerful pass rush move," Allen said. "That's kind of how I like to play."
Check out the top photos of the Washington Football Team's Pro Bowl hopefuls so far this season. (Photos by Emilee Fails, Joseph Noyes, and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)
Regardless of how Allen plays, the numbers show that it's working. He has the second-highest pass rushing grade, according to Pro Football Focus, and Donald only has him beat by one-tenth of a point. He's two sacks away from a career-high, and if he continues to play at a high level, ESPN projects him to finish the season with 10 sacks.
"Jon is having an excellent, excellent season," said defensive line coach Sam Mills III. "He's one of our captains and he's one of our leaders and Jon's presence in the run game first and foremost has been outstanding. And then his pass rush. I mean, Jon is relentless. Jon is relentless and Jon is reliable. That is huge."
Allen isn't one to seek praise. He's more of the person who simply focuses on doing his job to the best of his ability. So far this year, his best has surpassed almost all of the players in his position, and based on Mills' assessment of his player, it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon.
So show Allen some love and vote him to his first Pro Bowl.