Keenan Allen hasn't gotten a ton of national attention because he plays for an average Cal team, but he deserves recognition as one of the most dangerous receivers in the country. His draft stock has fluctuated because of some inconsistencies and a recent minor knee injury. Here's my scouting breakdown on Allen.
Position: Wide Receiver
Allen was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school, but as a safety, not a wide receiver. He grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina and played at Northern Guilford High School before committing to Cal.
Allen shows a consistent ability to bring the ball in under control, allowing him to try and make a play after the catch. He rarely drops an easy pass, and only does so when he takes his eye off the ball and looks ahead to the move after the reception.
He uses his frame well to shield the defender and get his hands in position where only he can make the catch. He has strong hands and likes to squeeze the catch with his arms in front of him, rather than let it get into his chest.
Allen is one of the most athletic offensive players in the country. He has a good, muscular frame at 6'3", but the quickness and footwork of a smaller defensive back.
He is explosive off the line and is able to keep defenders off balance with his shiftiness and balance. He always looks to make a play once he has the ball, and is extremely elusive.
He has the body control to make the catch, dig his foot into the ground, and turn upfield to make a move. While he does not have top-end speed, it is just a notch below elite and still makes him dangerous in the open field.
Over the four games I scouted Allen, I saw him line up in the slot, on the outside, and also in the backfield. He is dangerous from anywhere on the field because of his combination of size and speed.
Allen is not a perfect route-runner by any means, but is clean enough that it wouldn't be considered a weakness. He thrives when he is allowed to maneuver in the middle of the field.
He has a phenomenal first two steps off the line, but sometimes gives away his next move with his head or shoulders. He can get away with it sometimes in college because of his quickness, but will need some coaching to be more consistent in the NFL.
He has to work on turning his hips more fluidly and take a more direct route on the ball. He sometimes has to re-adjust at a bad angle because his momentum has carried him too far. He uses his hands well though, and is skilled at getting separation if the cornerback plays him tight.
Allen is currently dealing with an injured posterior cruciate ligament that will keep him out for a few weeks, effectively ending his season. Other than that, the only notable injury was an ankle injury in the spring of 2012 that required surgery.
He works hard on the field, and is always fighting for extra yardage. He doesn't shy away from contact, and is aggressive in the air.
At this point, Allen is my highest-rated receiver and while anything can happen, I'd be very surprised if that changes. With that being said, Allen isn't on the level of guys like A.J. Green or Julio Jones, and his draft stock is dependent on teams' needs.
I see Allen going outside of the top eight, but he shouldn't drop past the top half of the first round.
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