Keenan Allen injury further clouds the 2013 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings

Jed Jacobsohn

California wide receiver Keenan Allen could miss the rest of the season with a left knee injury. He won't require surgery, but his injury further clouds an already close race to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Keenan Allen's 2012 season is done, and as a result, his career at California could be as well.

Allen has a left knee injury that will sideline him for at least two to three weeks but won't require surgery, according to the Oakland Tribune.

With the Golden Bears struggling again this season, Allen has little incentive to risk re-injuring his knee and coming back too soon. He also appears to have accomplish just about everything he can at Cal, making the NFL Draft the next logical step in Allen's career.

Prior to the injury, Allen had begun to separate himself from the rest of 2013 wide receiver class. He's an explosive player with great body control. He's also shown an ability to make plays after the catch and is a near-lock for the first round if healthy.

His knee injury throws a small wrench into things, however. Allen has competition for the top wide receiver spot in this year's class, but his classmates have dealt with some setbacks of their own.

Tennessee's Justin Hunter, who came into the season as one of the top prospects at the position, appears to have lost some of his explosiveness coming off of ACL surgery. He's also suffered from drops and shown a lack of tenacity and physicality throughout the season. Hunter's upside is immense, but he hasn't been able to put it all togetehr for the Volunteers.

Meanwhile, USC wideout Robert Woods may be the most under appreciated pass catcher in this class. He's slighty under-sized but shows very few flaws in his game and has been consistently productive throughout his career. His problem? Sophomore receiver Marqise Lee has overshadowed Woods all season long, looking like a rare prospect at the position. The Trojans can't complain about having two big time threats on the outside, but it's certainly caused Woods to fly under the radar a bit.

Right now, it's a three horse race to be the first wide receiver off the board. Assuming all three of these guys declare, Allen still looks like the best bet to come off the board first. He'll have to check out medically, but each of these receivers has dealt with injuries, so Allen is not alone.

That being said, Woods and Hunter have the chance to do something Allen can't the rest of the way; play their way into the good graces of the NFL scouts. At the moment, it doesn't look like any of these players will be flying off the board in the top ten come April.

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