If you’re looking for a versatile offensive line prospect that represents excellent value on Day 3, then you need to be paying attention to Illinois’ Nick Allegritti.
Allegritti recently spoke exclusively with MCM about how training with former Bears center Olin Kreutz has improved his game, playing for coach Lovie Smith and how he’s a bargain on Day 3.
JM: You’ve spent time throughout this process training with one of your idols, former Bears center Olin Kreutz. What was that like?
NA: I trained with him leading up to the East-West Shrine Game. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend some time with him again before the draft. The month that I trained with him was unbelievable. First of all, as someone who’s a nerd when it comes to offensive line play, I really enjoyed meeting him. He gave me the opportunity to work with him and the little tips were amazing. He changed my stance up. He made some minor adjustments to my set. It was an awesome experience. I changed and improved my game by a significant amount in the month I spent with him.
JM: There’s a lot to learn from a pro like him. You played some guard and center for Illinois. Which do you think you’ll play at the next level?
NA: I personally feel that center is my best position. I’ve showed my versatility throughout my career at Illinois and at the East-West Shrine Game. I can play all three positions on the interior. They actually made me play all three spots during the East-West game so that I could showcase that ability. I think I have the ability to play all three at a high level when needed. I truly believe I can play all three but I think center is my best fit personally.
JM: Teams love that versatility. What’s it like playing for Lovie Smith?
NA: It was a great experience. From the time he stepped into the role he’s been very busy oriented. He doesn’t run things like a typical college program. Things weren’t like what I’ve heard about college or what I was used too at Illinois before he got there. He hired an incredible staff. He’s very straight forward. He tells you what he needs from you and how you can do it. You don’t hear from him if you’re doing your job properly. If you wanted to go sit with him and learn from him, you could. Other than that, he treated you like a man. I personally loved that. It gave me the freedom as a college student to focus on my classes when I needed to and to focus on football when I needed to. I really loved playing for him. Being in that program for four years will definitely help me at the next level. It already has.
JM: That’s great. He’s an absolute professional. How did your Pro Day go?
NA: It went really well. I thought my drills went well. Everyone is there to see what you do in those six drills specifically. I ran the 5.20 that I needed in the 40 yard dash. It showed everybody that I could move well enough in a straight line. I checked that box. I ran a 7.5 in the L-drill and about a 4.5 in the pro agility drill. I was really happy with all of those times. The scouts were happy as well. I showcased my ability to move laterally. I hit 22 reps in the bench press and touched 29-inches on my vertical jump. I did everything I needed to do. I checked all the boxes. I showed them that I’m quick enough, fast enough and strong enough.
I then had the longest individual workout I’ve ever heard of at a Pro Day. Coach Richard Angulo from the Baltimore Ravens came down to work me out. We probably had an hour long individual session. He worked me hard for a straight hour but it was awesome. I was able to show him what kind of shape I’m in. I think I re-enforced the type of propsect I am.
#illini football players had job interviews today. Nick Allegretti is getting good feedback, former walk-on Chase McLaughlin will have a chance to be an NFL kicker and Del'Shawn Phillips ran really well today pic.twitter.com/zU6Ohf7HQr— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) March 11, 2019
JM: Who else have you met or worked out with besides the Ravens?
NA: A bunch of teams have come out to see me. I’ve made two top 30 visits but I have to keep them under wraps right now. I may have a third on the way. I’ll be at the Bears and Colts local days as well. I’ve had some good interest.
JM: In closing, why should a team use one of their draft picks on Nick Allegritti?
NA: I think I have the qualities teams are looking for an offensive linemen. I’ve been very durable and versatile during my time at Illinois. I can play all three positions on the interior. There’s a million different reasons on how they come up with draft grades. I think I’m a bargain as a late round guy. If a team picks me in the 5th round, I think they’re getting a talent similar to the top round guys. For whatever reason, I’m viewed as a Day 3 guy and I think it’ll pay off for the team that takes a gamble on me.