The San Diego Chargers chose former California Golden Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen in round three of this year’s NFL Draft. According to utsandiego.com writer Tom Krasovic, “Allen saw heavy duty with the first team. The rookie receiver made some nice catches and also dropped a pass.”
Danario Alexander was listed as the no. 2 WR, but will not play in the 2013 season due to a torn ACL that he suffered last week. Eddie Royal is listed as the second starter on San Diego’s depth chart and Allen is listed as his backup, but Royal is better suited as a punt returner for the Lightning Bolts.
Allen could also be in competition with Vincent Brown, who is listed as the backup to WR1 Malcom Floyd. Brown broke his ankle against the Dallas Cowboys last year and missed the entire 2012 season. He has also missed seven of San Diego’s 10 practices before their first preseason game, but the coaching staff is very high on him.
There is no guarantee that success at the collegiate level will lead to success in the pros, but Allen is California’s all-time leader in receptions. Allen finished the 2011 NCAA season with 98 receptions, 1,343 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions. He missed three games after he tore his PCL last year, but was on pace for 81 receptions, 983 receiving yards and eight TD receptions.
If Allen does not win the starting job alongside Floyd, he could still be San Diego’s punt returner if he beats Royal in the competition. Allen should bring versatility to San Diego whether he is a punt returner or a wide receiver.
When Allen was chosen in the draft, he said that he wanted to start this year. At the time it seemed like an unrealistic goal, but with the season-ending injury to Alexander, there is a real possibility that it could happen.