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49 in 49: WR Keenan Allen

Posted Apr 15, 2013

The final week of our pre-draft series examines the top players from the Bay Area, starting first with California’s standout receiver.

The final week of our pre-draft series examines the top players from the Bay Area or local schools, starting with a standout receiver.

Keenan Allen met with the San Francisco 49ers at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. He also left the meeting impressed.

“The coach was real strict and detailed, so I liked that a lot,” said the 6-foot-2, 206-pound receiver who played against Jim Harbaugh in the coach’s final year at Stanford. “His coaching was very individual. He likes to get out there and run it too, so repetition is definitely important for him.”

Allen could be the next college opposition of Harbaugh’s to join his pro team. Last year, the honors went to second-round draft pick LaMichael James. The former Oregon Duck running back torched Harbaugh’s Stanford teams to the point where the 49ers coach wanted his rival to be on his side in San Francisco.

It remains to be seen if Allen is the next Pac-12 opponent to join forces with the 49ers, but for now, Allen’s doing his best to be considered as a first-round talent.

If not for the knee injury that took him out of the combine, Allen might be one of the first wideouts to be drafted in 2013. For now, Allen is poised to show teams he’s recovering from the knee injury that hampered him towards the end of his junior season.

Allen posted a 4.71, 40-yard dash in a recent pro day workout heavily attended by NFL clubs. Speed, however, is not Allen’s calling card.

The Golden Bear wideout is known for his strong hands and powerful possession receptions.

Allen also prides himself on his football intellect. When asked to diagram plays during his combine visits with various teams, the first-team All-Pac-12 wide receiver shared his favorite play from his junior season. Allen didn’t specify which play it was, but it was certainly one that helped him catch 98 passes for 1,343 receiving yards and six touchdowns last year.

Allen added that three teams really asked him detailed questions about the play.

“The 49ers grilled me really hard on it, the Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos,” Allen shared.

Besides sharing his football knowledge, Allen made sure to point out his willingness to compete and what makes him one of the top perimeter prospects coming out in 2013.

“I feel like I'm a starter, self-motivated, a humble guy,” the Greensboro, N.C. native shared. “My work ethic is there. I'm a film junkie so I'm definitely doing that type of preparation for the game.”

Allen shared the origin of his fondness for film. It was a result of working with former head coach Jeff Tedford.

The California wideout believes he has the knowledge and work ethic to succeed on Sundays, but until he can officially join the NFL ranks, he’s working on his explosiveness.

Allen re-injured the posterior cruciate ligament on his left knee back in January while preparing for the combine. It was the same injury he suffered on Oct. 27.

“I know people have been doubting me on my speed, but I don't feel like I'm a slow guy,” said Allen, who recently told the Sacramento Bee that he’s running at 85 percent. “I feel like I'm pretty fast, but I definitely put some effort into it.”

Allen’s game speed will likely be much better than 4.71, the time he was clocked at by NFL Draft expert Mike Mayock.

Truth be told, speed isn’t the highlight of Allen’s on-field ability. His knack for attacking the football in tight spaces is where he really shines.

Come to find out, Allen emulates his catching ability after a newly acquired member of the 49ers.

“I like to compare myself to Anquan Boldin,” Allen said. “Aggressive, physical-ness like that.”

The California wideout took his praise of the 49ers wideout one step further.

“He always makes incredible catches, including the Super Bowl game, so that's what I like about him.”