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!
I would like to start by saying that I like the way the receiving corp has been put together. There is a nice blend of youth and experience. If given the proper time by the Offensive linemen, Philip Rivers could be back to topping the 4,000 yards passing plateau in 2013.
That being said, due to the number of options Rivers will have in the passing game, I find it difficult to envision a player with 1,000 yards receiving. If I had to guess, I would say that the team will featured multiple guys, possibly even 3 or more, that top 750 yards through the air.
The safest bet to have 1,000 yards receiving would have to be Danario Alexander. After being signed during the 2012 season, Alexander burst onto the scene for the Bolts while only playing in 10 games. The fact that he was able to build a rapport so quickly with Rivers bodes well for this season’s numbers. Especially when you take into consideration that he’ll have a full offseason to get in rhythm with San Diego’s signal caller.
I suppose that Antonio Gates and Vincent Brown have small chances, respectively, to flirt with the 1,000 yard mark but I do not see that happening. Perhaps even Malcom Floyd, if he remains healthy for 16 games, could sneak up on 1,000 yards.
So that leaves the question to you. Do you think the Chargers will have a receiver eclipse 1,000 yards receiving? Place your vote in the poll below and feel free to tell us why you voted the way that you did in the comment section.
Thanks a lot for reading and voting. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom.