Likely due to concerns about his speed and a lingering knee injury, California wide receiver Keenan Allen fell to the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. The San Diego Chargers ended his fall at the No. 76 overall selection, making him the eighth wide receiver off of the board.
While it should not come as a big surprise that Keenan Allen fell to Round 3, he has the talent to end up being a steal.
Allen is not an explosive athlete and will not be a big-play threat, but he could be a very good No. 2 possession receiver. He is a big, strong and physical wideout on the outside who can really go up and get the football.
Allen is a very good route-runner and plucks the ball out of the air with his strong hands. Assuming he recovers fully from his knee injury, he is a polished wideout who can contribute immediately and be a reliable, go-to target for Philip Rivers.
Allen should have a shot at earning a starting spot in the Chargers' lineup. If he can do that, he could very well be in line for 60-75 catches in his rookie season.
He is not likely to have many big plays, which hurts his fantasy value, but he could be very valuable as a late pick in PPR (points-per-reception) leagues. Additionally, he is a big wideout who can post up in the end zone and catch touchdown passes, which significantly helps his fantasy value.
Allen will have to compete with a solid crop of wide receivers—Malcolm Floyd, Danario Alexander, Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal—for a starting spot. That said, none of them are stars, and if he can catch on quickly in training camp and is fully healthy, he has the talent to win one of those starting spots as a rookie.
Even if he does not win that battle, he should get on the field as a possession receiver in three- and four-wide receiver sets, and in red zone situations as a big, physical wideout. Allen's role is hard to project at this point, but he certainly should play in the Chargers' offense, and potentially often and prominently.
While Allen's playmaking upside is limited and he has some risk factors, he is one of the strongest pass-catchers in the 2013 draft class.
While wide receiver was not a significant position of need for the Chargers, he is a good value selection as a third-round pick. He could turn out to be a steal.