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|Birthdate||April 27, 1992|
|Pick||Round: 3, Overall: 76|
Allen snared four of his eight targets for 108 yards in the 20-17 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.
Analysis: Allen's 42-yard reception was the longest play of the game, but the star wideout was otherwise kept in check with the Cowboys defense repeatedly bearing down on quarterback Justin Herbert. The veteran wideout should be set for a heavy workload next week against the Chiefs, having recorded at least eight receptions and 80 yards in each of his last four games against the aforementioned divisional opponent.
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Childhood and High School: Allen was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. He attended high school at North Guilford and Grimsley, where Allen starred in football and track & field. The USA Today named him to their 2009 high school All-American team, and he was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game, which honors the top high school players in the country. The highlight moment in the game for Allen was returning a punt and kickoff each for 33 yards. In track & field, Allen was an exceptional long-jumper, with his best jump going over 22 feet. Also, he competed in the 40-yard, 100-yard and 400-yard dash.
Allen attended the University of California, Berkeley because they were one of the few schools to recruit him as a wide receiver. Most recruiting services graded Allen as a five-star defensive back in their national rankings. He elected to leave Cal after his junior season, Allen left as the school’s leading receiver with 205 catches for 2,570 yards and 17 touchdown receptions. Allen’s best season was his sophomore year, which had him catching 98 passes for 1.343 receiving yards.
The San Diego Chargers selected Allen with the 76th overall pick in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He first came on the team’s radar after GM Tom Telesco attended the Cal/USC game in 2011. He came away impressed by his vertical jumping ability to catch the football. It didn't hurt that Allen has a career afternoon by catching 13 passes for 160 yards. Prior to the draft, Allen participated in Cal’s pro day, and his performance was quite disappointing. He ran a shocking 4.71 40 time that looked labored from the start. It wasn't a surprised that his draft stock took a definite plunge.
The Chargers offense desperately needed to replace Vincent Jackson, who left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via free agency. The coaching staff expected Allen to challenge for the position in training camp. He quickly developed chemistry with starting quarterback Philip Rivers, and together, they provided big passing afternoons in the regular season. Allen finished his rookie campaign with 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns.
In the first quarter of his sophomore season, Allen looked a bit tentative running his pass routes. The Chargers training staff felt nagging leg injuries contributed to his struggles on the field. Once, he gained some practice time, Allen took advantage of cover mistakes across the middle of the field for big yard plays. His breakout game came against the Jacksonville Jaguars as he caught 10 passes for 135 yards. Allen finished the year with 77 catches for 783 yards and four touchdowns.
Allen was emerging as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, as no coverage scheme seems to faze him at all. In the season-opener, Allen tied Kellen Winslow’s franchise record of 15 receptions in one game. He was on pace to shatter the Chargers single-season mark in receptions and receiving yardage before suffering a season-ending kidney injury. In eight games, Allen caught 67 passes for 725 yards and four touchdowns. Here are his 2015 highlights.
Prior to training camp, the Chargers signed their talented receiver to a salary contract increase worth more than $44 million. High expectations were suddenly shattered when Allen suffered an ACL tear with a little over two minutes left in the first half of the season-opener. He finished the season on injured reserve for the third consecutive year.
Allen didn’t participate in the 2013 NFL Combine due to a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) sprain that occurred in the regular season. In 2014, Allen missed the final two games of the regular season after sustaining a broken right collarbone against the Denver Broncos. In 2015, Allen suffered a season-ending kidney injury after catching a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens. In the Chargers 2016 season-opener, Allen tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the final two minutes of the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs, and missed the remainder of the regular season.
Allen comes from an athletic family as he played at Cal with his half-brother Zach Maynard, who was a quarterback on the football team. Together, they combined for the longest (90 yards against the Washington Huskies) touchdown pass in school history. Allen’s cousin is Washington Redskins wide receiver Maurice Harris. Like most professional athletes, Allen has a twitter account @KEENAN_ALLEN.