When healthy, California's Keenan Allen might be the best all-around wide receiver in the 2013 NFL Draft class. But a PCL injury to his left knee last October, which ended his junior season prematurely, has kept him sidelined thus far through the draft process.
However, Allen was finally able to work out Tuesday in front of NFL scouts, running the 40-yard dash and catching the ball in Greensboro, N.C., at Ricky Proehl's facility. He ran his 40 in the 4.70-4.76 range, according to those in attendance, a number that obviously comes with an asterisk due to Allen's lengthy knee rehab. Allen did look good catching the ball, showing polished routes, reliable hands and good vision to track the ball and watch it into his large mitts.
Allen is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 4 wide receiver and No. 32 prospect overall. He began and ended the 2012 season as NFLDraftScout.com's top player at the position, but the knee injury has inched him down the rankings. Allen currently sits at No. 25 (to the Vikings) in Rob Rang's mock draft and at No. 27 (to the Texans) in Dane Brugler's first-round mock.
Per several reports, Allen's knee is 100 percent healthy, but the surrounding muscles are only about 75 percent healed, which hampered him during Tuesday's workout and kept him from performing the vertical jump or broad jump drills. He isn't an explosive or fast player to begin with, but is able to be productive due to his natural body control, sharp routes and ability to catch everything thrown his way.
The below-average 40-yard dash times likely won't hurt Allen's draft value, but concerns over the health of his knee could push his name down teams' draft boards. This year's draft class doesn't have that clear-cut No. 1 receiver like a Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green type of prospect. But there are several very talented wideouts worthy of first-round consideration, and when healthy Allen is definitely one of them. However, worries about the health of the knee now makes it more likely he will be selected in the late first or early second round, rather than the top 20.
Maybe the most unfortunate aspect of Allen's long road back is that the original injury occurred in the final minutes of a game against Utah that was already out of reach for California. It also happened on kickoff coverage.
Proehl, a former NFL wide receiver, has worked with Allen throughout the pre-draft process. Proehl is currently the wide receiver coach for the Carolina Panthers, who own the 14th and 44th overall selections in the first two rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft.