– California WR Keenan Allen is right in the mix to be the first wideout taken in April’s Draft. But if he wants to get there, he’s going to have to prove a few things to teams first.
– At the top of the list is finding a way to show that he can run with the speed teams look for in NFL receivers. He’s been compared to Anquan Boldin for his physical approach, which isn’t a bad thing but it also doesn’t speak highly to his speed.
– Problem is, Allen won’t have the chance to show that speed here as he continues to recover from a knee injury. So he’ll have to wait until his pro day in March to make his case to be the top wideout and a potential first round pick for teams.
– Here’s how Allen answered the questions from media here in Indy.
What are you telling teams?
KA: That I’m a starter. I feel like I’m a starter, self-motivated, a humble guy. My work ethic is there. I’m a film junkie so I’m definitely doing that type of preparation for the game.
Where his film-prep originates
KA: Working with my past coaches at California. Coach (Jeff) Tedford, he’s definitely big on film. Having the last coach I had, receivers coach Wes Chandler, he was definitely great on film.
What is he working on?
KA: Just my strength and my speed, definitely. I know people have been doubting me on my speed, but I don’t feel like I’m a slow guy. I feel like I’m pretty fast, but I definitely put some effort into it.
Are you disappointed you couldn’t run the 40?
KA: Yeah, definitely disappointed. I definitely wanted to come out here and show everybody that I could run. Definitely looking forward to running a 4.4 as my times are getting closer to clocking that. We ran the 10s and 20s in training, then we ran the 40. 10 and 20s were definitely on target for a 4.4, so it’s kind of disappointing.
Is the knee injury a carry-over from the season or is it new?
KA: Carry over from the end of the season, then I tweaked it during training. That’s why I’m not running.
Will you run at your pro day?
KA: Yes, sir. March 14.
Did you run a 4.4 40?
KA: No, that’s what I was training my target at. I ran the 10s and the 20s, that’s what I was aiming for. … We never ran a 40.
Who do you try to emulate?
KA: Calvin Johnson, of course. I like to compare myself to Anquan Boldin — aggressive, physicalness like that.
What do you like about Boldin?
KA: His physicalness, going up and making catches you don’t think he’s going to come down with. Flacco just throws it up there sometimes, and he always makes incredible catches, including the Super Bowl game, so that’s what I like about him.
Did you play much out of the slot?
KA: I played a lot in the slot, definitely in college. Third down, second down, I get in there with the linebacker and they’d get a mismatch. So, did that a lot. Definitely comfortable in the slot.
What are you hoping to accomplish here despite not working out?
KA: Just getting a knowledge of the football game, just talking to the coaches …
(What are you telling teams about yourself?
KA: Great character, great team play. Trying to make an impact as soon as I get there. My work ethic is there, determined to be successful.
What do you need to work on?
KA: I can work on everything, really. Most important, route techniques. Getting in and out of my breaks.
– Many of the mock drafts out there have Allen pegged for the Rams with one of their first round picks. He’d be a logical pick so long as he can prove healthy and capable of running a decent time. He’s a physical type who can run a bunch of different routes and might be a nice complement to Chris Givens in time. His ability to play anywhere also makes him more valuable.
Posted in From the Sidelines | No Comments »