The San Diego Chargers recently drafted a big and athletic wide receiver by the name of Keenan Allen. He is excellent on paper: 6’3’’ 205 pounds, Cal’s all-time leader in receptions, first team All Pac-12, etc. But how will his stats and awards translate onto the Chargers offense? Will he become the elite wide receiver that his stat line says he can be, or will he be just another wide receiver?
I personally believe he can and will be successful with the Chargers because: his lingering injuries should be completely healed by preseason, he is in a situation to fight for a starting position and he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder.
Keenan Allen’s knee, ankle and any other past injuries that have inhibited his ability to perform 100 percent on the field, should be healed come training camp. Those injuries caused him to run a 4.7 40-yard dash time (slow for a wide-receiver), which may be the reason why he fell to the third round in the draft.
Besides his 40-yard time, Allen has the skill set of an elite wide receiver. He might be the most polished receiver in this years NFL draft. He is a big and strong athletic wide out that that run precision routes. With his lingering injuries healed, Allen should be that standout receiver we all saw in Cal.
Allen is in a position to fight for a starting position. Yes, the Chargers already have a deep wide receiver core (Malcom Floyd, Danario Alexander, Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal), but none of them are really standout wide receivers.
Floyd and Alexander were the only two receivers that produced decent numbers for the Chargers (Floyd had 814 yards, 5 touchdowns and Alexander had 658 yards and 7 touchdowns). Meachem and Royal combined only had 441 yards and 3 touchdowns all season.
Allen has the skill-set to become that go-to receiver for Phillip Rivers. Allen has the physicality and smarts to get open down the field; this is something Rivers need when he is put under lots of pressure.
Even if Allen doesn’t end up being a starting in the beginning of the season, he will still be used in Chargers offense. Allen can be the receiver that can get those consistent five-yard catches in the middle the field to move the chains. Allen is too good to just sit on the bench.
The biggest reason why Allen will succeed with the Chargers is that, like many players that were drafted later than they were expecting, he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Allen wants to prove all the teams that passed him up, wrong. This extra motivation will push him to take his game to the next level.
Yes, there is always a chance that players don’t live up to their potential and become busts. It is possible that Allen doesn’t fully heal from his injuries, or that he doesn’t prove to the coaching staff during training camp that he is an excellent receiver. There is a possibility that Allen just becomes another mediocre wide receiver in this league.
There is a possibility, but I don’t see that happening with Allen. His goals are set too high to just be an ordinary Joe. Keenan Allen, will succeed with in San Diego.