If it weren’t for a torn PCL in his left knee that refused to heal, Keenan Allen would have been drafted much higher than the third-round pick the San Diego Chargers spent to get the former Cal star. Before the injury concerns crept up, many had him going in the first round.
Instead, the Chargers watched Allen slide down to the No. 76 overall pick, where they scooped up what could end up being one the biggest steals of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Although Allen took part in the Chargers’ rookie minicamp back in early May, reports indicate that the rookie receiver still isn’t 100 percent as OTAs roll along. Seeing as he was considered 90 percent almost a month ago, Allen can’t be far from full strength.
Allen is expected to be at 100 percent once training camp gets under way, which means the rookie will have every opportunity to put his first-round talent on display. During that time, he’ll battle with Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown for the No. 2 receiver spot opposite Danario Alexander. While he has the biggest hill to climb of the three considering his lack of experience at the NFL level, a healthy Allen has the talent to pull off a dark horse victory.
As long as he can get healthy and stay there, Allen has a terrific chance of seeing significant snaps this year with the Chargers. The 6’2’’ pass-catcher runs precision routes, has dependable hands and does a great job of racking up YAC yardage. He’s a terrific fit for the Chargers’ Z receiver spot, and should be smack-dab in the mix for a starting gig when training camp kicks off.
How Allen’s rookie campaign plays out depends largely on how healthy his knee is. Assuming there are no setbacks, expect Allen to be a contributor in San Diego this season.