Keenan Allen WR California #21
Size/Athleticism: Above average height for the position, but plays smaller. A little on the skinny side, but appears to have the frame to add 5-10 pounds without losing speed. Can be a dangerous runner after the catch. Has the speed and athleticism to make guys miss. Not a physical runner though, he’ll avoid contact and won’t take on any defensive backs in an effort to pick up the extra yards. Has some experience returning kicks.
Separation Skills: Decent straight-line speed. He won’t run right past many corners at the next level but he has just enough speed to get over the top when he catches a corner sitting on a short route. Route running can be a little sloppy at times. He is definitely quick enough to make better breaks than he does, but he often rounds them off which will hurt him in the NFL. Shows good field awareness. Seems to always know where the sideline is and shows great control to stay in bounds when working the sideline. Has experience lining up in the slot and on the outside. At his best on the short routes; ran a lot of quick slants and curls at Cal.
Ball Skills: Does a great job tracking the deep ball and adjusting to put himself in position to make a play. Shows the quick reaction ability to adjust to poorly thrown balls, even on the shorter routes such as quick slants. Fairly consistent hands-catcher. Does a great job securing the ball quickly and turning upfield.
Intangibles: Coaches have spoken highly of his leadership skills
Durability: Missed time in 2012 offseason with an ankle injury. Suffered a knee injury in November which caused him to miss remainder of his senior year and may hinder his performance in offseason workouts.
Comments: Allen is an interesting prospect. Cal used him in much the same way they used DeSean Jackson but, physically, the two are very different receivers. Allen’s role in Cal’s offense was likely limited due to poor quarterback play – they simply didn’t have anyone that could consistently get him the ball downfield. As a result, the vast majority of his receptions came on short routes, within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. However, he has the size to be effective as a possession receiver on routes at the intermediate level. And while he lacks the speed to be a serious deep threat, he does have the size and athleticism to win jump balls on deeper routes. He’ll need to be groomed into this role at the next level, so his immediate impact may be minimal, but he clearly has the raw talent of a future No. 1.