Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics

Path to the Draft: Austin Allen, Samori Touré and Other Husker Hopefuls

April 28, 2022

Cam Jurgens, Cam Taylor-Britt and JoJo Domann appear to be the Huskers most likely to hear their names called during the 2022 NFL Draft, but they aren’t the only ones with draft dreams. 

A couple other names have popped up on recent mock drafts while others will be in the mix to land undrafted free agent deals.

Tight End Austin Allen

The Big Ten Tight End of the Year was the fourth Husker who earned an invitation to the NFL Combine, and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had him going 219th overall in his latest mock draft, making him a sixth-round pick.

The 6-foot-8 in-state product committed to Nebraska out of Aurora High School and redshirted his first season in 2017. He earned his way onto the field in a reserve role as a redshirt freshman, playing in every game while catching two passes for 54 yards. He played a bigger role in 2019, starting five games and catching seven passes for 83 yards.

Jack Stoll’s injury in the 2020 season opener presented an opportunity for Allen to step and he he had a break-out season, starting seven games and finishing second on the team with 18 receptions for 236 yards, catching his first touchdown pass in the process. 

Allen built on his breakout year with a record-breaking season in 2021, racking up 38 receptions for 602 yards and two touchdowns. He set records for most receiving yards in a game by a tight end (143), most receptions in a season by a tight end, most receiving yards in a season by a tight end and most 100-yard receiving games in a single season by a tight end (two).

The Big Ten recognized Allen’s efforts by naming him its Tight End of the Year and an All-Big Ten performer (second-team by the coaches, first-team by the media). He led all Big Ten tight ends in receiving yards during the regular season and was 13th nationally. His 15.8 yards-per-reception average also led all Big Ten tight ends and was sixth nationally. He also served as a team captain.

Allen had one more season of eligibility remaining at Nebraska because of the COVID-19 eligibility freeze in 2020 but he announced on Nov. 23 that he intended to enter the draft.

Allen participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl following the season before earning an invitation to the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.83-second 40-yard dash, jumped 34 inches in the vertical and 10-foot-1 in the broad jump and produced a seven-second 3-cone and a 4.26-second 20-yard shuttle.

Allen chose to sit on his combine testing results as he opted out of most of the testing at Nebraska’s pro day and focused on position drills in front of the NFL scouts.

Wide Receiver Samori Touré

The former Montana Grizzly made the most of his one season in Lincoln, and although he didn’t attend the NFL Combine, he performed well during the pre-draft process and has put himself on the draft radar.

Nebraska wide receiver Samori Toure participating at Nebraska’s 2022 pro day.

ESPN’s Jordan Reid sees Touré as a seventh-round pick, 246th overall, in his latest mock draft.

Touré committed to FCS Montana out of Westview High School in Portland, Oregon, in 2016. He redshirted his first season, played a significant role as a redshirt freshman, developed into a starter as a sophomore and blew up as a junior, finishing second in all of FCS in receiving yards. In his three seasons at Montana, he totaled 155 receptions for 2,488 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Seeking to prove himself at the FBS level, Touré transferred to Nebraska for the 2021 season and did just that. He led the Huskers with 46 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns. He tied the program single-season record for 100-yard receiving games with five and posted the second-highest season yards-per-reception average in school history among receivers with at least 40 catches (19.5).

Touré provided the Huskers with a deep threat opposing defenses had to account for as he recorded two 70-yard receptions, four 60-yard receptions and five 50-yard receptions, ranking him among the nations’ leaders in all three. He also led the Big Ten in yards per reception, earning honorable mention recognition from the Big Ten media.

Touré earned an invitation to the East-West Shrine game and made the most of the opportunity with two touchdown catches, turning some heads in the process.

Touré performed well at Nebraska’s pro day with a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, a 34.5-inch vertical, a 10-foot-4 broad jump, a 4.19 20-yard shuttle and a 6.77-second 3-cone drill.

Other Draft Hopefuls (all participated in Nebraska’s pro day)

>> Defensive lineman Ben Stille: The Ashland-Greenwood product spent six years at Nebraska and was a consistent contributor throughout his career. He redshirted in 2016, played in nine games in 2017 then didn’t miss a game the rest of his career. He opted to take advantage of his extra season of eligibility to return for the 2021 season. 

He totaled 149 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, seven passes defended and one forced fumble in 53 career games.

>> Defensive lineman Damion Daniels: The nose tackle from Bishop Dunne High School in Dallas, Texas, redshirted in 2017 before playing in 43 straight games. An injury sidelined him for the 2021 season finale. He made his first start as a sophomore in 2019 then developed into a key contributor in 2020, making three starts. He turned in the best season of his career this past season.

Daniels totaled 78 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two passes defended and one fumble recovery in four seasons.

>> Safety Deontai Williams: The Jacksonville, Florida, native spent four seasons at Nebraska after starting his collegiate career at Jones County Junior College. He arrived in Lincoln in 2018 and played an important role off the bench in year one. He opened the 2019 season as a starter before suffering a season-ending injury in the opener. He returned to the field as a starter in 2020 then returned to Nebraska for an extra season in 2021, though another injury cut it short after eight games.

In his three seasons plus one half, Williams racked up 122 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, six interceptions, 15 passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

>> Safety Marquel Dismuke: The original Calibraskan, Dismuke arrived in Lincoln in 2016 and sat out that first season as a redshirt. He played in every game with one start as a redshirt freshman then played in seven games as a sophomore. Dismuke cracked the starting lineup as a junior in 2019 hen earned honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition in 2020. Dismuke returned for an extra season and finished his career starting in 32 straight games and repeated as an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick.

In his 52 career games, Dismuke accumulated 204 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, nine passes defended, one interception, two fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks.

>> Wide Receiver Levi Falck: The Circle Pines, Minnesota, native began his career at FCS South Dakota, spending four years with the Coyotes. He redshirted in 2016 then racked up 70 passes for 774 yards and two touchdowns, playing in 24 games with 14 starts across three seasons. He joined the Huskers as a graduate transfer walk-on in 2020 and played in eight games with four starts. He opted to return for his extra season at Nebraska and played in every game with four more starts.

In his two seasons at Nebraska, he caught 31 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns.

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