Keenan Allen: Injured WR Will Be One of the Steals of 2013 NFL Draft
Keenan Allen reportedly won't be able to work out for scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine after aggravating his injured left knee while training for the event.
This development could cause Allen's draft stock to fall, but the team that selects him will be getting one of the best players in the draft.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter:
California's Keenan Allen, projected as one of the top two wide receivers in the upcoming draft, is nursing a sprained posterior cruciate ligament that will prevent him from working out at the combine, his agent, JT Johnson, said Wednesday.
Schefter goes on to say that Allen will attend the combine for medical exams. This is an unfortunate turn of events for Allen, since the biggest question mark surrounding his game is whether or not he has the speed to stretch the field in the NFL.
Allen's predicament is eerily similar to what we saw with Michael Crabtree a few years ago. The biggest difference is that there weren't many receivers that were drawing interest from teams in the first round in 2009.
That's not the case this year, though. DeAndre Hopkins, Markus Wheaton, Terrance Williams, Cordarrelle Patterson and Tavon Austin are all considered to be first-round or fringe first-round picks, and if Allen isn't able to showcase his speed for scouts before the draft, he could slip out of Round 1.
NFL Network's draft specialist Mike Mayock recently held his annual pre-combine conference call. He spoke about Allen, via SteelersDepot.com, which has the entire transcript of the call, "If you like him, he's Anquan Boldin. If you don't like him, he's speed deficient."
A player I'd compare Allen to is last year's No. 5 pick, Justin Blackmon, and it won't shock me in the least to see him have a better pro career, in the long run, than Blackmon.
Allen possesses excellent hands, isn't afraid to go over the middle to make the tough catches and is a fantastic after-the-catch receiver. He may not be able to run a sub-4.40-second 40-yard dash, but then again, neither could Jerry Rice.
Speed isn't everything, and Allen possesses all the qualities to become a phenomenal wide receiver in the NFL. Before he was injured, he was considered to be the consensus No. 1 receiver in the 2013 NFL draft.
During his three-year tenure with California, Allen caught 205 passes for 2,570 yards and 17 touchdowns—impressive numbers, for sure, but even more impressive when you consider he didn't have an NFL-caliber quarterback throwing him the ball.
Will Allen slide out of the first round?
It is a bit concerning that Allen is still dealing with the knee injury he suffered last November, but a sprained PCL isn't the kind of injury that is going to stay with him for his entire career.
Allen will be ready to compete when it matters later this summer, and the team that drafts him will be getting a player capable of turning into a star. If he slips out of the first round, Allen has the potential to become the steal of this year's draft class.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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