All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2022 offseason roster.
27 • Marcus Allen, four-year inside linebacker, Penn State
6-foot-2, 215 pounds
Acquired: Drafted with the 148th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Last season: Allen became a real regular on special teams for the first time in his career in 2021, playing in 65% of the team’s third phase snaps. He also served as a backup inside linebacker, but with Joe Schobert, Devin Bush and Robert Spillane all healthy ahead of him, he saw less playing time on defense. Allen played in 16 games, made one start and finished with 13 tackles.
Career: In 2020, Allen moved from safety to inside linebacker and saw the most extensive playing time in his career by far thanks to injuries to Bush, Ulysees Gilbert III and Spillane. He played in 14 games, made his first two career starts and recorded 30 tackles, two for a loss and two quarterback hits.
Allen played in just three games in his first two pro seasons. He spent most of 2019 on the practice squad.
College: Finished career fifth all-time in Penn State’s record book with 321 tackles. Named Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP, third-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten as a senior.
Camp outlook: Allen enters as the No. 4 inside linebacker, but will have to fend off challenges from a now-healthy Ulysees Gilbert III, Buddy Johnson and sixth-round draft pick Mark Robinson.
Allen certainly has the advantage as the incumbent with strong special teams play, but a team does not generally draft a late-round option at a position in consecutive seasons (Johnson in 2021, Robinson this year) if it is happy with its depth.
Future: Signed his RFA tender to play with the Steelers in 2022, and will become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
The rest of the 90: