What do you mean, Keenan Allen playing slot receiver? Just bear with me while I attempt to persuade you.
A slot receiver, by definition, is a player in the offensive formation between the offensive line and the player closest to the sideline and at least a yard off of the line of scrimmage. That space can be occupied by a wide receiver, tight end or running back. It is often used when the offense wants to confuse the defense by having more than one receiver on the same side of the field. Utilizing this tactic generally forces the opposing team to adjust their coverage scheme by making alignment changes or adding extra defensive backs to ensure that the player in that “slot” has someone on him.
While at University of California – Berkeley (UCB), Allen was used in several different formations: split wide at receiver, in the slot and in the backfield. He primarily played the slot position while at UCB, so the role would be nothing new to him. Being quick off the line of scrimmage whether the ball is coming his way or if he is being a decoy can only help Philip Rivers in the long run. Although Allen may not have top speed, he does have the ability to change speed quickly. Prior to the draft, NFL analyst Charles Davis stated “…he didn’t run very fast at his pro day, but the comparisons for him: he plays the game a lot like Anquan Boldin and has hands like Larry Fitzgerald”. Current players also known as slot receivers are: Jeremy Maclin (Kansas City Chiefs), Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos), Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys), Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers) and free agent Wes Welker.
Allen has played 29 games in his two years with the Bolts and has 148 receptions of which 95 went for first down. Other than his receiving yardage, there are only punt return statistics for him: 26 attempts for 224 yards with 24 fair catch calls and zero touchdowns. In comparison, here is what newly-signed Jacoby Jones amassed during his first two years (2007-2008 and 30 games) in the league. As a receiver, Jones recorded 18 receptions and 11 of those were for first down. His punt return numbers: 672 yards on 62 attempts, 24 fair catches made, two TDs. On kick offs, 17 attempts for 358 yards (zero touchdowns, zero fair catches made).
Perhaps the argument can be made to move Keenan Allen to the slot since he is considerably younger than Jacoby Jones and Jones has more NFL experience overall in that position. So you are aware, though he is also on the team now, Stevie Johnson was not included in this comparison because he was only used in the return game his initial season (2008).
I know what I would do if the decision was left up to me…however, where do you think Allen lines up this season?
Thanks and Bolt Up!
We’re two days away from Thursday’s NFL Draft. I’m looking forward to returning to New York City for a second year in a row with all intention of getting some great interviews, photos and coverage for you, loyal BoltBlitz readers.
We’re all looking forward to seeing what the Chargers will do in the draft and if GM Tom Telesco can have as successful a draft as he did last year. This is shaping up to be a very exciting draft, full of twists and turns. In my opinion, there will be far more wheeling and dealing than we saw last year. Here are some of my observations of what we will see over the draft’s three days.
Houston will take Johnny Manziel. The talk out of Houston is about everyone but Manziel, which usually means they’re most likely picking him. They will be smart and trade out of the number one spot with Atlanta or Oakland, adding an extra pick and taking Manziel at 5 or 6. Houston’s biggest weakness is the quarterback position and the most famous/best quarterback in the state of Texas is Manziel. A pick for Johnny Football will bring people back to the stadium, get cash registers ringing and sell season tickets at a nauseating rate. This is the perfect professional and financial fit for the Texans, and the buzz will make their fans forget all about Matt What’sHisName.
San Francisco will trade into the top ten. The 49ers have 11 picks in this draft and there is no way they use them all. Eleven picks would take up 20% of their opening day roster. San Francisco is desperate for a big-time wide receiver to play opposite Michael Crabtree. No to mention they’re looking for the heir apparent to Anquan Boldin, who is still productive but only has a year or two left in the tank at age 33, a geezer by NFL standards. Don’t be surprised if they package three of their picks to jump ahead of Tampa and claim Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans.
Picking at 25, my gut instinct says San Diego will pick Louis Nix III. The biggest hole on the team is at nose tackle where they only have one player who could play the position if they had to play a game today, Sean Lissemore. Nix is the most pure nose tackle in the draft, often compared to Vince Wilfork. If Nix is gone, I think the Chargers will trade out of the first round with a team that wants to re-enter the draft such as the quarterback-needy teams like Cleveland, Tampa Bay or Oakland.
Dallas will move out of their spot at 16 and overdraft a player they could have had in the second round. Such is life when Jerry Jones runs the war room. Dumb things happen.
At least two big name veteran players will be dealt during the draft.
Six quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round.
Five teams will not pick in their designated slot so that means at least five trades, three of them involving the top ten slots.
Last season, the Chargers had a groundbreaking draft and I can’t help but give myself some credit for bringing some good Chargers karma into the building. Remember the commercial about superstitious fans? That’s me. I’m going to try to find the same seat I was in last year!
I’m looking forward to bringing you live coverage, blogs and hopefully some great interviews. I will be live-tweeting as long as the battery on my iphone holds out. RCMH is a drafty, cavernous building that seems to sap the life out of cell phones with alarming speed. I will not be opposed to the NFL moving the draft to a different venue such as Honolulu or Las Vegas maybe….hmmm. Are you listening, Mr. Goodell?
Stay tuned, Chargers fans. Here’s hoping the Chargers war room yields results as good or better than last year!
The Greg One