The Rams took a recognizable name with their final pick of the draft in linebacker Dakota Allen.
Allen spent the majority of his college career as a member of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but his path to the NFL took a detour ahead of his sophomore season, landing the newest member of the Rams on the Netflix original series ‘Last Chance U’.Dakota Allen is now a Ram!! Congratulations to the former Lion, just drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2019 NFL Draft!!
The Los Angeles Rams made the somewhat unsurprising decision to release veteran linebacker Mark Barron this offseason. It was purely a financial move, as the Rams were open to bringing him back at a lower price, but the Steelers inked him to a two-year deal.
They signed Clay Matthews and have Micah Kiser on the roster already, but they hardly addressed the void Barron left with full force. Instead, it’ll be a cast of players trying to replace him at inside linebacker.
Dakota Allen, the Rams’ seventh-round pick and their last selection in the draft, will be among those trying to earn the starting job. He’ll play special teams initially, but with his work ethic, he might just surprise some people and get the job next to Cory Littleton.
“Rams fans, y’all will get a very hard worker,” he said. “Y’all won’t find anyone who works as hard as me. I will be a great locker room guy and I’m just going to take it day by day and be as coachable as I can and hopefully I can have a long-lasting career as an L.A. Ram.”
Allen has a checkered past after being dismissed from Texas Tech for a home burglary. He landed at East Mississippi Community College, the focus of Netflix’s hit show “Last Chance U.” Allen was a star of the show and was immediately recognized by fans when he was selected 251st overall.
Dakota Allen was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round last weekend. However, he likely would’ve been selected earlier if not for a mistake he made three years ago.
Back in 2016, he was arrested on a second-degree felony count of burglary when he and two others broke into a house and stole two cameras, a TV and a safe that contained seven guns. He was dismissed from Texas Tech and left with few options when it came to playing football.
He enrolled at East Mississippi Community College where he would be able to continue his football career in hopes of one day making it to the NFL. But before going to EMCC, he thought he’d never play football again.
“Oh, yeah. Absolutely,” Allen told reporters after the draft when asked if he thought his football career was over. “When I first left Texas Tech, I thought I was never going to play football again. That’s why I was so grateful and thankful for the opportunity that East Mississippi provided me. Then once I got that opportunity, I just took it and ran with it. I honestly can’t believe I’m an L.A. Ram.”
The living room of Texas Tech linebacker Dakota Allen’s childhood home in Humble is a short walk from the backyard where his father first put a football in his hands.
A mantle near the home office of his father, former University of Texas running back Keith Allen, contains several framed photographs of the younger Allen. They are a reminder of the past and the potential held by the former Summer Creek star.Allen returned to Texas Tech where Kliff Kingsbury gave him another opportunity. He was a captain both years after going back to the Red Raiders and made 162 total tackles, playing 23 games from 2017-18.
At the combine and in interviews with teams, he was understandably and predictably asked about the incident in 2016.
“Normally when I talked about it, I was just open and honest, and I told them what I learned from it,” Allen said. “Their reaction to it was, ‘Everybody makes mistakes. As long as you learn from it, as long as you grow from it, and as you long as you don’t make the same mistake twice.’ So, that’s the most reaction I got.”