The 24 year old, third year receiver out of the University of Illinois looks to be solidified as a starting receiver this season. He’s the third receiver on the depth chart, but will play on the perimeter with Davante Adams. I mentioned his heroics against the Bengals a lot last season in the ‘Youngin’ of the Week series’ (which will be returning in the regular season), We all remember the huge overtime run and catch, putting the Packers in position to steal a win against an inferior team. But, Rodgers showed a lot of faith in him during the comeback as well.
Allison didn’t get too many opportunities after his six catch 122 yard week three performance. We all remember him being thrust into a big spot against the Panthers in Aaron Rodgers return last season. Davante Adams was knocked out of the game with a concussion after a dirty hit. The Packers were on the verge of making a completely improbable two touchdown comeback, Rodgers showed faith in the young receiver, throwing a slant to him in open field. Allison made a move up field, but unfortunately the defense made a great play, punching the ball out of his hands. The defense recovered, and that was the season.
Obviously an unfortunate way to end the season, and one Allison has probably thought quite a bit about the last eight months. I expect it to lead to a breakout season for the former Illini. Whenever he’s hit the field in his short career, Rodgers has shown faith in his talent. Allison has a knack for creating space with his route running and field awareness, which will result in good things with Rodgers in the backfield.
He has a great mix of physical talent and intangibles. Geronimo stands at 6’3″ with very long arms, creating match up issues for the defense. All he needs to do is get the defender on his back, leaving himself just enough space to extend his arms and bring the pass in. His wingspan is simply longer than the majority of defensive backs in the league. Most importantly, he catches the ball with his hands.
If you watch Jordy Nelson highlights, then compare to the flashes Allison has shown in his limited opportunities, you see a lot of similarities. I expect him to be a consistent redzone target for Rodgers, who is already lush with options.
What a play by the young receiver when he was only a 22 years old rookie. You can’t play with Rodgers any better. He didn’t give up on the play, using his awareness to find the soft spot in the defense, and completing the play on the back end, catching the ball with his hands as a defender wallops him from behind. There’s a reason the once undrafted free agent has been given the nod over every receiver draft pick since 2016 (Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey, Malachi Dupree, and most likely the 2018 trio).
With the departure of Jordy Nelson, he’s finally going to get consistent time on the field. I think he’s a big reason why Gutz felt comfortable discarding the Packer great to sign Jimmy Graham. The Packers needed a tight end to make the offense dynamic, and they had a good cheap replacement for Jordy on the edge.
Allison didn’t play a ton against Oakland Friday night, another good sign the Packers feel good about where he’s at heading into the regular season. He caught two passes for 40 yards. The first a great ten yard catch from Brett Hundley on the opening drive. The drive looked to be going no where, after Ty Montgomery was stuffed on first and second down for a total gain of one yard. On the third and nine, Allison made a nice cut at the top of his route, getting his defender on his back like previously mentioned, extended his long arms as far as they would go, and easily brought the ball in with his soft hands. Perhaps the most impressive part of the catch, was his ability to do all of this, while keeping both tips of his toes cemented to the field. Oh and he was held at the top of his route by the defender.
Two plays later, Allison got off the line, shimmied the defender, who fell to the ground, and pulled in a 30 yard dime from Hundley, taking a big hit on the back end from the safety. Allison’s steady hands pulled it in without issue, despite the hit. He’s just an underrated, impressive player.
Rodgers is going to let the NFL know who he is early this season. I’m really expecting a great season from the third year player. He may not be a pro bowler this season, but I anticipate a season similar to when James Jones led the NFL in touchdown catches.