Pondering if rookie standout Keenan Allen is a No. 1 wide receiver has been a hot topic of discussion amongst those in the National Football League this offseason. And according to one NFL insider, the former California Bear has yet to achieve that mark.
Matt Williamson of ESPN has gone on record of saying that Keenan Allen is not amongst the 14 best wide receivers in the league. He created a list of No. 1 receivers around the NFL and they included the usual suspects. These included A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and the incomparable Calvin Johnson.
Williamson’s criteria for his list featured productivity, physical tools, coverage separation ability and, among others, consistency. And while Keenan Allen was a very good wide receiver last season, it’s clear that Williamson is still amongst those that are taking the wait and see approach.
This is certainly a fair assessment. In the past, many have jumped to conclusions in the “prisoner of the moment” atmosphere that the NFL brings to the table. Many believed that running back Chris Johnson was Top 5 at his position after his 2,000-yard season in 2009. It might have been true that season, but in the aftermath of that historic year, Johnson never quite got back on his horse.
Additionally in 2009, Miles Austin was a standout wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Coming from absolutely nowhere, the graduate of Monmouth University broke several Cowboy receiving records and was stellar from pillar to post. But, much like Chris Johnson, Austin’s productivity never revisited that season, or was even relatively similar in the years that followed.
In fact, Austin and Johnson share a similar link as well, as both found themselves on the chopping block this offseason.
So while we can appreciate what we saw out of Keenan Allen, it’s more than likely true that we have to continue to wait and see if he can keep up that level of consistency. Allen could very well become one of the league’s youngest and brightest stars if he performs as he did in the 2013 season. But as history reminds us, it’s definitely not a guarantee.