Buck Allen

Giants To Sign Buck Allen, Cut Jon Hilliman

The Giants moved fast to fortify their backfield. Buck Allen‘s Friday workout will produce a signing, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeting the former Raven will replace Jon Hilliman on the Giants’ roster.

Hilliman fumbled twice in Thursday night’s loss to the Patriots and will head to the waiver wire. Big Blue also worked out C.J. Anderson and Akeem Hunt but will go with Allen, who is now with his second team since his Ravens contract expired.

A 2015 fourth-round pick, Allen caught on with the Saints but saw that tenure end quickly. New Orleans placed him on IR and parted ways with the fifth-year running back via injury settlement. After Allen’s first known workout since that move, he has another gig. Allen, 28, posted two 500-yard seasons in Ravens backfield committees, in 2015 and ’17, though each came with sub-4.0-yards-per-carry averages.

A Rutgers product, Hilliman was a Giants 2019 UDFA summoned to action because of Saquon Barkley‘s high ankle sprain and Wayne Gallman‘s concussion. Hilliman began the season on New York’s practice squad and could return to that 10-man unit if he clears waivers. Though, he will be doing so after a rough nationally televised outing. Barkley is expected to return for Week 7, with Gallman’s timetable a bit murkier. In Allen, Giants now have some experienced depth behind their top duo.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Audition C.J. Anderson, Buck Allen

The Giants are on the hunt for backfield depth. In addition to auditioning Akeem Hunt, the Giants used a Friday workout to look at C.J. Anderson and Buck Allen, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Thursday night’s 35-14 loss to the Patriots occurred without Saquon Barkley or Wayne Gallman. While Barkley is expected to return soon from his high ankle sprain, Gallman has a concussion and a less certain timetable. Big Blue has used UDFA Jon Hilliman as its third-stringer thus far. He got the start against New England.

Anderson, 28, has been a well-traveled back since his five-season Broncos stay ended after the 2017 slate. Super Bowl 50’s top rusher, Anderson also thrived with the Rams when summoned late last season and played a key role in Super Bowl LIII. The Lions released the former Pro Bowler in September.

Allen’s rookie contract expired after the ’18 season. He surpassed 500 yards rushing in 2015 and ’17. The Saints signed Allen this offseason but parted ways with him via injury settlement. This is his first known workout since that transaction.

The Giants cut Paul Perkins and jettisoned Rod Smith via injury settlement, so if Gallman cannot return soon, the team may be set to add a veteran as insurance.

Saints Place Buck Allen On IR

The Saints have placed running back Buck Allen on injured reserve, according to head coach Sean Payton. To take his place, the club has signed running back Robert Kelley

Allen worked out for the Saints in May alongside Kelley. Allen was the best of the bunch at the time, but Kelley will now get his shot now that the ex-Raven has been ruled out for the year.

Kelley only suited up for two games with the Redskins last year thanks to a toe injury (but he didn’t break his knee, dude.) The running back averaged 4.2 yards per carry as a rookie in 2016 and he’s hoping to regain his old form in 2019. Unfortunately for him, he has a tough road ahead of him to make the Saints’ roster. Behind star Alvin Kamara, the Saints already have Latavius Murray and the underrated Dwayne Washington.

In related moves, the club also inked wide receiver Travin Dural and waived defensive back Chris Campbell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Sign RB Buck Allen

The Saints have signed running back Buck Allen, according to a team press release. In a related move, the Saints dropped running back A.J. Ouellette and cornerback Jordan Wyatt to make room for Allen and the previously reported addition of Matthew Dayes

Allen worked out for the Saints last week alongside fellow running backs Fozzy Whittaker and Robert Kelley. Allen, apparently, was the best of the bunch, even though he averaged just 2.7 yards per rushing attempt for the Ravens last year. The former fourth-round pick had some moments early on in his career – including his 12 catches for 107 receiving yards against the Dolphins in 2015 – but has never topped the 4.0 YPC mark in any of his four NFL seasons.

Allen and Dayes will try to make the cut behind an RB depth chart headlined by Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Dwayne Washington and rookie Devine Ozigbo are also on the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Work Out RBs

The Saints worked out some running backs on Thursday, including Fozzy Whittaker, Robert Kelley, and Buck Allen (Twitter link via Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune). All three vets are looking for a spot on the roster to backup top rushers Alvin Kamara and Lavavius Murray. 

Whittaker, 30, has spent the last five years with the Panthers, but lost his 2018 season to a torn ACL. For the most part, he was used as a reserve option and a third-down running back. He saw the most usage of his career in 2016 when he carried the ball 57 times and averaged an impressive 4.6 yards per try in that limited sample. In 2017, however, he had just seven carries in 12 games.

Kelley only suited up for two games with the Redskins last year thanks to a toe injury. Kelley averaged 4.2 yards per carry as a rookie in 2016, but has been unable to replicate that production.

Allen, meanwhile, saw time in 14 games for the Ravens last year, but averaged just 2.7 yards per rushing attempt. The former fourth-round pick had some moments early on in his career – including his 12 catches for 107 receiving yards against the Dolphins in 2015 – but has never topped the 4.0 YPC mark in any of his four NFL seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Justin Forsett Breaks Right Arm

3:58pm: Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that Forsett broke two bones in his right arm and will miss the remainder of the season, tweets Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun.

1:07pm: Ravens running back Justin Forsett suffered a broken right arm in the first quarter of today’s matchup with the Rams, according to a tweet from the team’s official website. This represents yet another major blow for Baltimore as it limps through a lost season. Handicapped by season-ending injuries to players like Steve Smith, Sr., Terrell Suggs, and Breshad Perriman, in addition to a slew of less recognizable but similarly important contributors, the Ravens have managed to stay close in virtually every game they have played this season, but their 2-7 record suggests how miserable 2015 has been for a club that had playoff aspirations when the season began.

Forsett, a former journeyman who turned a one-year minimum deal with the Ravens in 2014 into a spectacular Pro Bowl campaign and a three-year extension this offseason, has not enjoyed the same type of success in 2015 that he did a year ago, though he still managed a respectable 4.2 yards per carry average and represented something of a receiving threat out of the backfield. His season is likely over, and rookie Buck Allen will see an increased workload in his absence. The newly-signed Terrance West, a Baltimore native who attended college at nearby Towson University, could also see an opportunity with his hometown club.

Draft Signings: Dolphins, Jets, Ravens

Here at PFR, we’re giving individual posts to players from the first and second-round that sign with their respective clubs. You’ll find news on the guys from rounds 3-7 in the roundups. Here are the latest..

  • The Ravens agreed to a deal with fourth-round running back Buck Allen, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • The Packers signed another sixth-round pick in tight end Kennard Backman, Silverstein tweets. Green Bay now has five picks under contract with three to go.
  • The Giants announced the signings of fifth-round pick Mykkele Thompson and seventh-round choice Bobby Hart, according to Dan Graziano of the New York Post (on Twitter).
  • The Dolphins have agreed in principle on a deal with fifth-round cornerback Bobby McCain, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). McCain will receive roughly $2.5MM over the course of his four-year deal and a $228K signing bonus.
  • Not long after that, the Dolphins wrapped up their entire draft class by signing fourth-round guard Jamil Douglas, fifth-round safety Cedric Thompson, and fifth-round wide receiver Tony Lippett, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (on Twitter).
  • The Jets announced that they have signed fifth-round offensive guard Jarvis Harrison, as Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets.
  • The Ravens inked fifth-round tight end Nick Boyle, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets. Boyle also auditioned for the divisional rival Browns during the draft process.
  • The Packers have signed Christian Ringo, a defensive tackle taken in the sixth round, according to Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel (on Twitter).

Pauline On Gurley, Bengals, McKinney, RBs

After his citation for marijuana possession, the expectation is that Missouri linebacker Shane Ray could fall out of the first round and that’s an opinion shared by many in his camp, Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net writes. Earlier today, we learned that teams that wouldn’t have had a chance to land Ray before are now inquiring on him, with both GMs and owners doing their homework. Here’s Pauline’s latest:

  • The Dolphins are hoping that Todd Gurley doesn’t get selected in the top 10. If the running back is still on the board, Miami will happily snag him at No. 14, per Pauline.
  • As of now, there’s a very good chance the Bengals take an offensive tackle in round one and they’re said to be looking at Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi, among others.
  • Linebacker Benardrick McKinney spent an extensive amount of time the past few days talking with the Broncos and Cowboys. If Kevin Johnson is unavailable when the Cowboys are on the clock in round one, they will strongly consider either McKinney or Eric Kendricks, Pauline hears.
  • There’s a good possibility that Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is still available when the third round begins. While teams like his film and cover skills, his knee injury from last December has some clubs concerned. Recently, PFR’s Rob DiRe wrote that he expected Ekpre-Olomu to experience a dropoff in draft stock from last year to this year, but not this severe. Had he gone pro last season, the Oregon notable may have had a chance to be a first-round pick.
  • There are a number of running back-needy teams who might wait until the fourth round before drafting at the position, due to the quality and depth available this year. David Cobb and Buck Allen have been brought to Pauline’s attention as fourth round types that can contribute off the bat and Miami junior Duke Johnson is also getting buzz.
  • Alonzo Highsmith, senior personnel director for the Packers, is pushing hard for Denzel Perryman at the bottom of round one. If Green Bay takes the Miami notable, the team would then push Clay Matthews to the outside. The belief is Green Bay still values a cornerback with that first pick and Eric Rowe continues to be in the mix, but Perryman is also a possibility.
  • Don’t be surprised if tight end Wes Saxton is drafted much earlier than presently predicted, as teams are high on his speed and athleticism. Saxton, a South Alabama product, could go as high as the fourth round. Notre Dame tight end Ben Koyack is also getting additional attention.

Draft Updates: Mariota, White, Falcons, Jags

The previously-reported visits for top draft prospects Marcus Mariota, Leonard Williams, and Dante Fowler Jr. are all happening today for the Titans, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. Although the Titans are getting a closer look at Mariota, another team in the top five apparently won’t get an opportunity to do so. Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets that Washington had planned to bring in Mariota for a visit, but the two sides couldn’t work out a time, so that trip is now off.

The news may not mean anything significant, but Charles Robinson notes in his latest piece for Yahoo! Sports that sources around the league are skeptical that Washington is truly interested in selecting Mariota with the No. 5 overall pick. “They’re trying to create leverage to get someone to [trade] up,” said one AFC personnel source.

With a report today suggesting that the Browns have real interest in moving up for Mariota, the Oregon quarterback is certainly generating the most draft buzz this week, but we have plenty of updates on other prospects as well. Here’s the latest:

  • Within Robinson’s previously-linked piece, he notes that Buccaneers ownership will ultimately make the final call on whether or not to draft Jameis Winston, adding that there have been some internal questions about the community relations impact of selecting Winston.
  • Kevin White, arguably the top receiving prospect in this year’s class, said today that he’s setting up visits with the Jets, Bears, Rams, and Giants, per Ross Tucker of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link).
  • The Falcons are hosting a pair of top-tier pass rushers today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that Clemson’s Vic Beasley and Kentucky’s Bud Dupree are in town.
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union provides a full list of the 20 prospects that visited the Jaguars this week. While we’ve passed along many of those names already, there are also plenty of new ones: Javorius “Buck” Allen (RB, USC), T.J. Yeldon (RB, Alabama), Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama), Rashad Greene (WR, FSU), DeAndre Smelter (WR, Georgia Tech), Cedric Ogbuehi (T, Texas A&M), Andrus Peat (T, Stanford), Eli Harold (DE, Virginia), Arik Armstead (DL, Oregon), Landon Collins (S, Alabama), and Trae Waynes (CB, Michigan State).
  • In addition to visiting the Eagles, UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman met with the Raiders, Colts, and Steelers this week, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
  • Washington cornerback Marcus Peters, Stanford cornerback Alex Carter, and Virginia linebacker Max Valles made visits to Pittsburgh to meet with the Steelers today, tweets Scott Brown of ESPN.com.
  • The Giants, Steelers, and Texans have hosted visits for Ohio State cornerback Doran Grant, who has also worked out for the Cowboys, Raiders, and Buccaneers, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

Extra Points: Draft, Ravens, Eagles, LeBeau

USC running back Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen has decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2015 draft, Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reported today (via Twitter). The redshirt junior ran for 1,489 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Trojans in 2014, adding another 458 yards through the air on 41 receptions. For the most part, draft experts are in agreement on Allen’s stock, with ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, and CBSSports.com all ranking the USC back between eighth and 10th among 2015’s running back prospects — that makes him a likely third- or fourth-round pick.

Here’s more from around the NFL, in the midst of the league’s divisional playoff weekend:

  • Now that the Ravens have been eliminated from the playoffs, Baltimore will have to make free agent decisions on Justin Forsett and Torrey Smith, shore up its secondary, and add a pass-catching tight end, among other things, writes Field Yates of ESPN.com (Insider-only link).
  • In the view of Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), the Ravens should at least give Forsett a one-year deal worth the $3MM that Ray Rice had been scheduled to earn in 2015.
  • Chip Kelly‘s interview with Chris Polian of the Jaguars for the Eagles‘ general manager position has taken place, a source tells Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link).
  • Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) hears from a source close to Dick LeBeau that the longtime coach would still like to be a defensive coordinator, after resigning from his Steelers position today. Cole points to the Cardinals as a possible match for LeBeau if current DC Todd Bowles lands a head coaching job elsewhere.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap examines the upcoming offseason for the Bears and new general manager Ryan Pace, writing that while Jay Cutler may have made a “convenient scapegoat” in 2014, the team’s problems ran much deeper than Cutler.
  • A pair of 49ers defenders, cornerback Perrish Cox and outside linebacker Dan Skuta, played large roles for the club in 2014 after spending most of their respective careers in backups. With Cox and Skuta both facing potential free agency, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at what’s next for the duo.