As many of you know, I have been on the Nick Allegretti train since I watched his senior year tape from Illinois. I loved what he brought to the table as a mauler-type that gives a ton of effort and has enough athletic ability to do what Reid likes to do with his lineman. Due to unfortunate injuries to Kelechi Osemele and Mitch Schwartz, Allegretti has been called upon to fill the void at left guard. In his time playing since he was inserted in the Buffalo game, he’s played against some formidable names at defensive tackle. Guys like Ed Oliver, Shelby Harris, Quinten Williams, and Derek Brown. Outside of the snow game against Denver, which is difficult for anyone to play in really, he has been a solid guard, and even against Denver I’d say it was more a wash than him playing poorly.
That’s a talented list of names to face as a new starter and he’s taken it in stride, giving a ton of effort and collecting some nice highlights along the way. That’s not to say he’s been perfect because he certainly hasn’t, but he’s played above normal replacement level expectations to my eye. I like what I’ve seen from the young player and if he can continue to work on some of his shortcomings and keep progressing as a player, he could become the full-time starter going forward, assuming the Chiefs don’t intend to bring Osemele back.
While the injury to Osemele was awful, it has allowed the Chiefs to finally get a look at their former seventh-round draft pick and so far, it looks like a hit. Not often do teams get consistent contributors out of the seventh-round, but here we are in his second year and he’s playing meaningful snaps and helping the team win games. Thrust into a tough spot for young players, especially on the offensive line, and he’s answered the call. Not a man of many words as he likes to let his play do the talking and I understand why.
This is a great example of the effort level he plays with on a snap by snap basis and even though this run doesn’t go very far he is trying to move people. His pull technique is good, keeping himself close to the center and stepping in sync with the play. He gets down the line well and displaces the defensive tackle, who looked caught off guard by the pulling lineman and drove him back a few steps. The weight distribution on this block is problematic as he gets his weight over his feet too far which caused him to fall, but the effort and strength are all there. Even though he fell, he did his job the way you’d expect him to.
That’s one thing I didn’t find lacking from his tape, the young lineman is very enthusiastic about what he does and it shows in his film. He doesn’t outright lose a lot of his reps either, sure he has a few here and there from good players, but the majority of his blocks on both sides of the coin get the job done. He’s got a good understanding of what he needs to so and has had a couple of key blocks to this point as well.
This is a great job improvising from Allegretti who appears to get held by Harris on this touchdown run. He and Kilgore double Harris and it looks to me that Allegretti gets hooked by Harris and starts to get turned to the inside. He comes around, gets his arm free, and then blocks the linebacker trying to read Edwards-Helaire as he jumps back outside, creating a wall. With how many tackles he had to break, it seems likely the linebacker Allegretti ended up blocking could have reached him and prevented this touchdown.
He’s not super flashy about anything, just goes about his business and gets the job done. Though I will say it’s hard for an offensive lineman to really be flashy in any sense when their job gets so down and dirty. He embraces that, but I will say that he can get out in space and make a play when asked to as well. Here’s one of my favorites.
I just love the way he plays and even with a few hiccups to his game, which I expect from a seventh-rounder, he’s been a welcome sight for this team. One of those hiccups is his footwork in pass protection. In the past, I’ve talked about how the interior offensive lineman for this team have trouble blocking quicker defensive lineman that can use their hands and shoot upfield or get around them and into the hole they are lined up opposite in. He had a few losses with the exact same problem that I noticed.
This is where he can get himself in a bit of trouble; if you notice when the defenders start their engagement how far apart his feet are. It makes things difficult if you don’t have a proper base and to add to it he stops moving his feet both times and that allows both rushers to get by him because it takes too long for him to get his feet moving and get in front of the rusher. He’s got to do a better job of keeping his feet moving and not always wait for the pass rush move to hit him first. If you’re an offensive lineman always catching the pass rush move instead of trying to throw more punches and things to that nature, you’ll find more losses attached to your resume.
Those losses weren’t littered in his film, just areas that showed up enough that he needs to focus a little more on. I think he performed well when Williams was lined up across from him in the Jets game, the clip above shows you that he actually can move pretty well even with a base that’s too wide. Four seconds from the time the ball is snapped until it’s released is a good time to aim for and Allegretti held his own until the end. This is something Fisher does too much of as well, getting those arms outside on the arms and shoulder pads makes it difficult for you to move with the rusher. Williams sets up the inside-outside move well, noticing that Allegretti’s arm is too high and he’s about to break free prior to the ball coming out.
Some techniques need a little tightening up from Allegretti, but the fact that he’s been as serviceable as he has been is great news for the Chiefs. Whether they end up moving Remmers back to guard when Schwartz is healthy or not, Allegretti has earned the trust of the coaching staff. He is a pretty strong dude and I found that out on this play where he stonewalled an edge rusher that built up steam.
This is a fun play for me to watch because most offensive line play is reacting and recovering. The Chiefs did a great job communicating where the blitz was coming from and Allegretti knew his responsibility immediately as you can tell by his head after the snap. The rusher comes right at him and tries to swipe his hands away with power. Allegretti was unphased, absorbing the power and recovering to the inside where was able to use the angle he had to get the rusher down to one knee and neutralize him. Here’s another fun play to watch from this game, Allegretti was putting in work.
Allegretti has been everything I hoped he would be when I watched his tape and I think he has the ability to be better than that. The tools are there and as he gets more comfortable, especially with Fisher, his play is only going to improve. Andy Heck is an excellent offensive line coach and I know he’s going to keep pushing him to improve those areas I just pointed out.
A better understanding of leverage and his base in pass protection and I think this is the kind of guy who could start at left guard for a while. He’s better in space than he gets credit for, gives a ton of effort, and gets the job done. That’s the kind of guy you want to see succeed on the offensive line. I look forward to seeing his progression to the end of the season and moving forward. He could help solidify the Chiefs offensive line that’s been a revolving door at the left guard spot for two years now. For now, it’s Raider week and I’d love to see him get a few pancakes on their way to a win.