2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Draft snub motivates Chargers rookie WR Allen

    2013-12-18 17:56

(Eds: Updates with quotes, details. With AP Photos.)
By BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Keenan Allen hasn't had to dig deep for motivation his rookie season.

All the San Diego Chargers receiver has to do is think back to April's draft, when he expected to be taken in the first round and instead didn't hear his name called until the third round.

He figures teams passed on him because of a slow 40-yard time he ran before the draft - the result of a knee injury that ended his 2012 season at California.

''I wasn't 100 percent healthy but I ran it just to show that I was competitive,'' Allen said. ''It did hurt me, unfortunately. Now it's hurting them.''

It was an eye-opening lesson in the way many in the NFL get mesmerized by numbers and might miss something else.

''Definitely,'' Allen said. ''I don't think a 40 time determines a guy's ability to play football at all.''

Allen has shown that being ready when an opportunity presents itself and working hard is what really matters.

With 63 catches for 931 yards, Allen has broken LaDainian Tomlinson's team record for receptions by a rookie and needs 71 yards to break John Jefferson's team rookie record for yards receiving. He's got a good shot at winning the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Pretty good stuff, considering that Allen didn't play in a season-opening loss to Houston and then had just three catches in the next two games combined.

Allen said during training camp that he wanted to start.

''Realistically, I probably wasn't going to start, but it was just my mindset to just go out to work every day, to put that confidence in my head to start, to do whatever it takes,'' Allen said.

He moved up the depth chart after Danario Alexander tore up a knee in training camp and Malcom Floyd was hurt in the second regular-season game.

Veteran Eddie Royal said Allen has done the little things right, such as taking care of his body and studying film.

''He had the right attitude mentally,'' Royal said. ''He even said during training camp that he wanted to start this year. Some people might have looked at him like he was crazy, but he knew what he wanted to accomplish and he had the right mindset and he worked at it like he wanted to be the starter. He worked as if he was the starter. When he did get that opportunity, he was able to step in and make plays.''

Allen didn't run a 40 at the scouting combine in February. When he did run a 40 for scouts before the draft, he was still coming off rehab.

But Chargers general manager Tom Telesco recalled seeing Allen make a career-high 13 catches for 160 yards against Southern California in 2011.

''You don't forget when you see a game like that and you see players like that even if it was a couple years before,'' Telesco said.

Technically, Telesco was among those passing on Allen. The rookie GM took tackle D.J. Fluker in the first round and then linebacker Manti Te'o in the second.

''I missed on Keenan twice,'' Telesco said. He added that he was ''excited and then nervous'' as the Chargers' third-round pick approached and Allen was still on the board.

Telesco said Allen has excelled because of pure athletic ability and a knack for separating himself from defenders.

''If you make the analogy to a point guard in basketball who has court awareness, he has great field awareness, for where he is on the field and where the cornerback and linebackers are,'' Telesco said. ''That's not taught. That's God-given football instinct.''

Allen had two touchdown catches in last Thursday night's upset at Denver, including one when he hurdled a defender and then slammed into another as he ran into the end zone.

''He just has that knack,'' quarterback Philip Rivers said. ''He has a great feel and will and ability. When I threw him the ball the other night, in his mind there was nothing that was keeping him out of the end zone. There is a long list of receivers that get tackled on the 3- or 4-yard line and in his mind it was just, `How am I going to get in?' There are certain guys that have it and certain guys that don't.''

Allen has had two touchdown catches in each of the last two games and seven overall.

''I can't imagine there being another rookie that has had as much impact and has been as valuable as he has been to us,'' Rivers said. ''When you lose Danario and Malcom, the way he has stepped up and how he has performed, not just having a role, I mean, he has had a huge role and has made a bunch of game-changing plays, it seems, every week. He has definitely had a heck of a rookie season.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group