The Eagles will have a burner at training camp.
Devon Allen signed with Philadelphia in April after recording an unofficial 4.35-second 40-yard dash at Oregon’s pro day. On Sunday, he ran the third-fastest 110-meter hurdles in history.
The track and field pro posted a 12.84-second time at the New York Grand Prix, besting Olympic silver medalist Grant Holloway, whose 13.04-second time qualified for second on Sunday.
The time was .04 seconds behind the 12.80-second world-record time set by American Aries Merritt at the 2012 Van Damme Memorial in Brussels, Belgium. Holloway owns the second-fastest time with a 12.81 at the US Olympic trials last summer.
Allen told NBC Sports Philadelphia after Sunday’s race that he entered planning to break the record. He’ll have to settle for a spot atop the podium alongside his shot at making the Eagles this fall.
“I thought I could break the record today,” Allen said. “Clean up a few things, and four hundredths of a second is four thousandths of a second per hurdle, which is so small. Going to have to wait for another race.”
Allen, 27, is a two-time US Olympian, having competed at the 2016 Rio Games and the Tokyo Games last summer. He finished just off the podium both times with a fifth-place finish in Rio and a fourth-place effort in Tokyo. His effort on Sunday would have secured gold at either Games.
But he’s not strictly a hurdler. Allen played wide receiver at Oregon from 2014-16, tallying 54 catches for 919 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons. They’re not numbers that suggest an NFL future. But his speed is obviously elite, and the Eagles intend to see what he can do on the field after a five-year football hiatus to focus on track.
He told NBC Sports’ John Clark last week that he believes his track training and football training overlap.
“I train to be explosive and as strong as possible on the track,” Allen said. “And that’s pretty much what I’ll be doing in football.
“For the most part, I think my job is going to be to be the fast guy. I’m one of the fastest men in the world so I need to be able to show that on the field.”
Allen plans to compete at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships later in June and the World Championships in mid-July before reporting to Eagles training camp on July 26.