Keenan Allen isn't by any means a "speed" wide receiver, and a knee injury suffered last season surely won't help his speed in any way.
While not explosive, Allen is big, physical and has great hands, reminding NFL Network's Mike Mayock of Anquan Boldin—high praise for just about any wide receiver, but based off of some the game film of Allen, praise that's well warranted.
We'll be taking a look at some of Allen's best highlights at Cal, showing why, despite his lack of explosiveness, he's on track to go either in the mid- to late first round or early in the second round and why he will be a tremendous safety blanket for any young quarterback to have.
Had Allen had more awareness on this play, he would have easily scored.
Instead, we just get a nice show of athleticism as well as his great hands. Yes, he's wide open, but not only did he bail out his half-brother, quarterback Zach Maynard (who was about to get clobbered in the pocket), but after that he also does a great job getting yards after the catch, even jumping over a player while cutting through the Trojan defensive backfield.
It's just a shame he couldn't keep his foot in bounds, but it's still a great play either way.
Allen is that receiver quarterbacks need on third down that can get them that first down—and sometimes a whole lot more.
On this play you see Zach Maynard looking for somebody, hell, anybody, to create separation on a crucial 3rd-and-3 at Cal's own 38-yard line. After scrambling in the pocket, he seemingly throws up a prayer to Allen at the Texas 45-yard line, and Allen answers that prayer with a catch over the defender, followed by rolling his way out of bounds at the Longhorn's 41.
From the looks of it, that wasn't exactly a designed play, but Allen was able to make it work just by using his size as an advantage.
Facing 3rd-and-20 from your own nine-yard line sounds like a bleak situation.
Most football coaches would opt to just run the ball in that situation to make some room for the punter, but Cal's Jeff Tedford had other ideas.
Did he expect Allen to make the catch? Yes, as Allen once again lives up to his reputation as a first-down machine, catching the ball a good five yards past the first-down marker with at least 10 yards to go before he will have to encounter a Husky defender.
But after that, Allen manages to run for a touchdown without actually burning anybody. He just uses some great footwork and jumping ability on the run after the catch, taking Cal from an almost impossible situation to a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Now blame Washington's defense for leaving him that wide open, something that likely won't happen in the NFL. But the rest of that run is all on Allen.
This isn't just some mundane nine-yard catch by Allen, but rather one that involves great hands and even better concentration.
Allen's facemask is being held by cornerback Travis Howard as Allen is making the catch, but prior to that, Howard had a great approach to Allen and could've just as easily knocked the ball away (which was likely Howard's intention). Allen would stay on the pass, keeping his concentration not only through the initial catch, but also through the contact until he hit the ground.
While Cal would've gotten the yards through the penalty whether the pass was complete or not, the catch still showed Allen's overall ability to fight through a hit like that at the next level.
In the red zone you can really see the Anquan Boldin comparisons jump off the screen.
On this drive prior to the touchdown pass, Allen was the only receiver Cal went to when inside the 20. The result was the first down that set up this 1st-and-goal situation at the Bruins' eight-yard line.
The play would then see quarterback Maynard find his brother at the one-yard line, and despite two Bruins defenders around him, Allen made the catch and took his steps right into the end zone.