2013 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

Duron HarmonApr 15 10:57a

New England Patriots SS Duron Harmon is the leading candidate to take over as the Patriots' top strong safety now that Steve Gregory has been released.

Eli ManningApr 15 10:23a

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said it's 'ludicrous' to think that Giants QB Eli Manning is in decline. 'There's been no deterioration of his arm strength, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 09:33a

The New York Jets are visiting with free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans) Tuesday, April 15.

Will MontgomeryApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It's not known whether C Will Montgomery or C Manuel Ramirez will start at center.

Sidney RiceApr 14 11:52p

The Carolina Panthers might show an interest in free-agent WR Sidney Rice (Seahawks), but only at the right price.

Manuel RamirezApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It remains unclear whether OT Orlando Franklin, OG Ben Garland or C Manuel Ramirez will be the team's left guard.

Terrell ManningApr 14 05:32p

The San Diego Chargers have released LB Terrell Manning.

Nate IrvingApr 14 05:12p

Denver Broncos LB Nate Irving appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker at this time, but the team is expected to select a middle linebacker during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Leon HallApr 14 04:12p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (Achilles') has been cleared for all football drills as part of his rehab.

Jamarca SanfordApr 14 04:12p

Minnesota Vikings SS Kurt Coleman will likely be a contributor on special teams this year and enter the year competing with SSs Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo for a backup safety spot.

Dustin KellerApr 14 03:42p

The New England Patriots could show interest in free-agent TE Dustin Keller (Dolphins) at some point this offseason.

Jermichael FinleyApr 14 03:32p

Updating a previous report, the Miami Dolphins have told the agent of free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (neck) that they could be interested in signing Finley if he is cleared [ More ]

Von MillerApr 14 03:32p

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller (knee) said his surgically repaired knee is feeling good and hopes to play better than he did before he suffered his injury. 'I'm a [ More ]

Kurt ColemanApr 14 03:22p

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with free-agent SS Kurt Coleman (Eagles). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sidney RiceApr 14 02:52p

Free-agent WR Sidney Rice (knee) has been cleared to participate in football activities by Dr. James Andrews, according to a source. The Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, New Orleans [ More ]

Chris CulliverApr 14 02:22p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles. Culliver was arrested March 28 for allegedly hitting a [ More ]

C.J. SpillerApr 14 01:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles tried to land Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller before they traded for RB Darren Sproles this offseason, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. [ More ]

Rashean MathisApr 14 12:52p

The Detroit Lions will re-sign CB Rashean Mathis to an undisclosed one-year deal, according to a league source. Mathis started 13 games last year and recorded 47 tackles.

Chris PressleyApr 14 10:02a

The Cleveland Browns have signed free-agent FB Chris Pressley (Bengals) to an undisclosed deal.

Alex SmithApr 14 02:02a

Draft stock for Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater appears to be falling based on recent workouts, so the Kansas City Chiefs may take a flier on Bridgewater if he is [ More ]

Donald ThomasApr 14 01:52a

The Indianapolis Colts offensive line is still in flux, with several players battling for key spots. OG Donald Thomas (knee), returning from a torn ACL, is expected to man [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 11:42p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was released from a Los Angeles jail Sunday, April 13, after posting $20,000 bail, shortly after being charged with [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 09:22p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday, April 13, at Los Angeles International Airport after he made a threat that he possessed a [ More ]

Damian WilliamsApr 13 08:48p

Miami Dolphins WR Damian Williams said the team talked to him about the possibility of being a return man for them. Williams likely would be behind RB Marcus Thigpen [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 06:52p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was reportedly detained by police at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend. A man, believed to be Smith, was belligerent in the [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 13 06:32p

The New York Giants are concerned QB Eli Manning is entering the decline stage of his career. The team opted not to extend his deal, which runs through 2015, [ More ]

Jermichael FinleyApr 13 06:32p

The Miami Dolphins have talked to free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (Packers).

Charles GodfreyApr 12 11:32p

The Carolina Panthers want to see how FS Charles Godfrey (Achilles') does in his recovery from an Achilles' tendon injury before deciding on his future with the team. Godfrey [ More ]

Alex MackApr 12 08:22p

Cleveland Browns C Alex Mack said there is no bad blood between him and the team after the team placed the transition tag on him, and he signed an [ More ]

Chad JohnsonApr 12 08:12p

Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said the team has been talking with free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) about a contract and will work him out Tuesday, April 15.

Deonte ThompsonApr 12 11:52a

The drug charges against Baltimore Ravens WR Deonte Thompson have been dropped because of insufficient evidence. Thompson was arrested in February for suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Bobby MassieApr 12 12:02a

Arizona Cardinals OTs Bobby Massie, Nate Potter and Bradley Sowell are expected to compete for the starting right tackle job during training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group