Keenan Allen Could Make an Impact with the San Diego Chargers in 2013

By Kenny Gardner
Keenan Allen San Diego Chargers
Jim Z. Rider-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers chose former California Golden Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen with the 14th pick in round three of last week’s NFL Draft, and Allen could make an impact in 2013.

He finished the 2011 NCAA season with 98 receptions, 1,343 yards and six touchdown receptions.  Allen missed three games last season with an injury, but had 61 receptions, 737 yards and five TD receptions to go along with 15 punt returns for 212 yards and a return TD.

San Diego ranked 22nd in receiving yards and 30th in yards per reception last season, so Allen could see some playing time for a team that struggled in two important categories.

Former New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem had career lows in receiving yards and TD receptions last year while Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd are injury prone making Allen’s addition huge.

Eddie Royal was brought in to be San Diego’s primary punt returner last season, but he struggled and averaged a career low 5.3 yards per return. Allen will add depth to the punt return game as well.

The Chargers averaged 9.7 yards per punt return which ranked 15th last season.  Micheal Spurlock led the team in punt return average, but Spurlock is a free agent, so Allen could be an option as a punt returner.

While success in college does not always translate to the NFL, Allen averaged 12.5 yards per reception and 12 yards per punt return in three seasons while San Diego was at 10.7 and 9.7 yards in these categories last season.

According to CBS Sports, Allen ranked 45th among prospects, so San Diego was fortunate that he was still available when they were on the clock in round three.  Allen will have a shot at competing to make an impact at wide receiver, as a punt returner or both and he could be a steal for the Lighting Bolts.

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