Keenan Allen | Wide Receiver | California | 6'3'', 210 pounds |
2012 Stats: 61 catches, 737 yards, 6 touchdowns
Keenan Allen got the short end of the quarterback stick. While the draft's other top wide receivers were catching passes from Matt Barkley, Geno Smith, Tahj Boyd and Tyler Bray , Allen was running routes for Zach Maynard during his college career, stifling his production.
Allen still emerged as the top draft-eligible wide receiver in the 2013 NFL Draft, though, catching 61 passes for 737 yards in nine games this season. The quarterback play hindered Allen, who hauled in more than 1,300 yards worth of passes as a sophomore.
Expect the California wide out to crack the top 15 picks in April.
Pros: Keenan Allen is one of the most dangerous receivers in the country after the catch. His athleticism is evident, but it's his ability to make people miss and run through tackles that is particularly impressive. Allen has moves like a running back, displays excellent pad level and even has a fair amount of vision once the ball is in his hands. The Cal junior is also a very physical receiver. He has shown the ability to make the tough catch over the middle, consistently getting outstanding body position on cornerbacks and finding ways to out muscle defenders.
With poor play from Maynard, Allen's body control was on display often. He's an incredibly focused player who is very aware of where he is on the football field. Allen can be counted on to make a tough catch and displays an outstanding catch radius.
As an athlete, Allen definitely passes the test. He is smooth and explosive in and out of his cuts and has enough straight line speed to be a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. He's not a rare athlete by any means, but Allen is plenty fast.
Cons: Although Allen can make some tough catches due to an impressive catch radius, he is not a consistent enough hands catcher at this point. Drops plagued him again during his junior campaign and will continue to until he gets more comfortable relying on his hands. Allen needs to drop the habit of letting passes get into his body.
Health is also going to play a role in Allen's draft stock. His season ended prematurely due to a knee injury, and he will have to check out before a team invests a high draft pick in him. Allen will hope to get healthy enough to participate in the pre-draft process.
Conclusion: Keenan Allen checks in as the best wide receiver in the 2013 NFL Draft. His body of work is more complete than any other player at his position. He has the production, athleticism and physicality to be a prototypical No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. Justin Hunter and Tavon Austin may exhibit better athleticism than Allen, but the Golden Bear is a more complete prospect than either of them. He should find a home in the top half of the first round/
Pro comparison: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys - Both Dez Bryant and Keenan Allen aren't true burners down the field but have excellent athleticism and are very physical wideouts. Allen also has some of the same issues with drops, though he hasn't shown any of the immaturity Bryant has early in his career.
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