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Cory's Corner: What's next for Geronimo Allison?

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Cory's Corner: What's next for Geronimo Allison?

Geronimo Allison was a Packers’ star last August.

He wowed the preseason crowds with his size, catching ability and his knack to kick it into another gear when needed.

He got promoted from the practice squad in October and the undrafted rookie free agent caught a touchdown in his first game at Atlanta.

Allison recently signed an exclusive rights contract with the Packers last week and it makes me wonder if he can be Green Bay’s next diamond in the rough? The Packers knew that he was arrested for speeding and marijuana possession last September and still went ahead with bringing him back.

The longer the season went on, his 6-foot-3 frame helped him climb the depth chart. He is tied with Jordy Nelson and Jeff Janis as the tallest receiver on the team, who also has arms that measure 32⅞ inches.

What works in Allison’s favor is that he’s 23. He has already leapfrogged Janis and Trevor Davis on the receiver depth chart and he’s one injury away from being more involved in the offense.

Right now, Allison has been compared to Jarrett Boykin’s second season. Boykin had a career season with 681 yards receiving, but followed that up with lackluster and inconsistent play and was out of the league after his third season.

I disagree with that because Allison appears to be a smarter receiver. When the Aaron Rodgers’ pocket breaks down, Allison is great at recognizing creases in the defenses and knows when to come back to the ball.  And most importantly, he’s an awful matchup for unassuming cornerbacks. He can get by a lot of guys and the ones he cannot, he will be able to go up and grab a ball over them.

The question mark is Allison himself. How bad does he want this? Because with Nelson’s injury history, Randall Cobb’s high cap hits the next two seasons and with Davante Adams being a free agent next year, this is when Allison can really separate himself.

And if Allison separates himself this summer and makes more August highlights, Davis or Janis may be in jeopardy of making the roster. With two capable tight ends on the team, the Packers may not want to carry six wideouts.

Allison actually reminds me of Donald Driver. Both were relative unknowns with Driver being picked in the seventh round. But it was Driver’s hunger that not only earned him a spot on the team, but got him into the Packers Hall of Fame.

It’s up to Allison now. He developed a nice rapport with the best passer in the league last year. He can only get better at understanding Rodgers’ nonverbals, defensive recognition and ball placement.

The question is, can he prove that his midseason promotion and eyebrow-raising end to last year wasn’t a fluke? If he can, the Packers may have found something special. 

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Ryan Graham's picture

I do think that Allison is the real deal. He's shown vertical speed, reliable hands, and YAC and he's shown these attributes in a couple crucial moments. That said, I see changes bring made at the widely position particularly over the next 12 months.

Adams is gonna be looking to take another stride forward this year. If he does he's gonna be looking in the face of a multi year blockbuster deal, and it's gonna be tough to hang on to him. If the Packers can hang on to him it will be largely in part of a contract restructure of Randall Cobb, and I personally hope all of this is handled before the end of next season.

If it were up to me (and to be clear I'm glad it's not) I would be still be considering options to trade Cobb. As much as I love him as a player it appears his role in the offense has diminished and it's getting harder to find places to get him the ball. P.s. congrats on the wedding.

It will be important to get even younger at hideout in this draft, ideally somewhere in the later rounds, 5-7 or looking at undrafted free agents once more. I'm high on Jalen Robinette out of the Air Force personally. Big target at 6'3" 220 lbs giant 11" hands and shows ability to go up and get the ball. Needs to improve his route running particularly off the ball but who better to learn from than Jordy Nelson and Davonte Adams? If he's there in the 5th round, I'd like to hear his name called.

sonomaca's picture

Signing the TE's reduced the need to draft a receiver early. I'm sure TT will find another gem late.

dobber's picture

I would argue that signing House made it so that TT COULD draft a WR early if he wanted to. I'm not arguing that House is the second coming (although it IS HIS second coming....thank you very much, I'm here all week), but that signing added a least a little stability to the CB froup. TT probably will not go WR in round 1 (unless someone like Davis took a tremendous fall), but if Samuel or Godwin is there in round 2?...and I would consider trading up a couple slots to take a shot at Godwin.

I think WR is a bigger need than people give it credit for. The TEs help cover the offense for 2017 (exspecially with the loss of Cook), but it's 2018 and beyond that the Packers need to look out for with an aging Jordy Nelson and a Randall Cobb who has a big contract. I don't think Adams gets away, but I don't know that Cobb will be with the Packers much beyond 2017. It's going to take a year or two for a new guy to acclimate, and the last thing you want is to leave #12 with a dearth of quality targets. More of why Geronimo Allison isn't really all that important to this team in the grand scheme of it all.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

My favorite part of the whole draft process is watching tape of the Packers' draft choices and UDFAs after they are on the team. With many of them, I don't see tape until after they are acquired, and it's fun to see the tremendous potential. Often, one stands out; last year it was Allison. I was super excited to see him as a Packer, because he had awesome highlights in college.

Nick Perry's picture

"Geronimo Allison was a Packers’ star last August."

"He wowed the preseason crowds with his size, catching ability and his knack to kick it into another gear when needed."

And then he was cut.

The Packers were fortunate to be able to sign Allison back to the PS after he was cut. They were equally fortunate nobody plucked him off the PS before he was promoted to the 53. There's plenty of WR's in the NFL now and before who ran slow 40's at the combine. There's SO MUCH put into that 40 time and while it's a good indicator, it's not the be all tell all about a player. I think Allison builds off last year and can be a solid WR for the Packers. With the new TE additions there will be less opportunities but I'd bet he maximizes those opportunities when thrown to. The biggest question isn't what he'll do on the field, but what he doesn't do off the field.

dobber's picture

"The biggest question isn't what he'll do on the field, but what he doesn't do off the field."

I think this is the big hit, right there (see what I did there? I crack me up...). You've gotta be available. It's one thing to be unavailable due to injury. It's another thing altogether to be unavailable because you're making choices off the field that make you unavailable.

I, for one, am lukewarm on Allison. I think his ceiling is probably as a 3rd WR, possession/move-the-chains type of player who will get his share of red zone opportunities. I ask myself if someone who played like Allison would've made a meaningful difference when the Packers were in the offensive doldrums of 2015...and I don't think he would have. Granted, 2015 was an unusual season, but I'm not sure that a guy like Allison would've changed things very much.

I would love to be proven wrong. WR is a position where the Packers are going to have to make some hard decisions in the next couple years, and having a UDFA like Allison step up and be a reliable and productive target (playing above my estimation of who he is) would make some decisions much easier. I just don't see him as being that guy. There are a lot of Geronimo Allisons out there.

Nick Perry's picture

My second comment was meant to respond to your comment dobber, not sure what happened there....sorry

marpag1's picture

I agree, Nick, that the forty is always overrated. I think everyone agrees on that. But the 40 is not nearly as overrated when comes to obvious "speed positions" like WR or CB.

My concerns with Allison go far beyond just the 40. His combine measurables were awful, pretty much straight across the board.

There were 43 WRs invited to the 2016 combine. Only FOUR of those guys failed to run a faster 40. Only 13 of 41 were worse than Allison in the vertical jump. Of the 27 who participated in the shuttle run, Allison was 17th. Of the 27 who participated in the cone drill, Allison was 26th. Only ONE guy had a worse three cone drill. Allison declined to participate in the bench press... and I think that I know why. He's long and lanky, and guys like him suck at the bench.

The only place where Allison did well was the broad jump, which isn't surprising given the fact that he's 6'3." He was eighth. Of course, broad jump is even more meaningless than the 40.

And while we are on the subject of size, Allison is tall but he is NOT big or strong. Only nine guys of 43 were 6'3" or taller. On the other hand, only nine guys weighed less than Allison's 196 pounds. There is no reason to think that he is a bruiser, or that he will be especially good at "muscling" corners for position.

So to me this is much more than just a slow 40 time. This is an overall lack of NFL-level athleticism at a position where tons of athleticism are required.

Without the first-rate speed and size (or even average speed and size) he isn't likely to earn a living as a special teamer either.

My guess, which I've stated here before, is that Allison might hang on as a bottom of the roster sort of guy. He might even post a few catches and yards given the fact that ARod is throwing him the ball. But in my opinion, he simply lacks the athleticism to be much more than that.

I also feel compelled to mention that he appears to be an idiot, and more than a little immature. And he's definitely not a "classy" sort of fellow.

Razer's picture

Well said Marpag1.

Nick Perry's picture

The arrest bothers me a bit, starting out early in your career with a drug possession obviously isn't the way to go. With that said it could be the "Wake-Up Call" Allison needed to really apply himself to be the best he can be. He was excellent down the stretch against Minnesota and Detroit and was okay against Dallas.

"WR is a position where the Packers are going to have to make some hard decisions in the next couple years".

Even if the Packers extend Adams they'll still need to restock the position. Like you said, having a WR like Allison be able to be reliable and productive would make life easier. But the Packers still are going to need to find a replacement for Nelson and it would be nice if he had the time to be groomed, just like Nelson was. Allison can be a lot like James Jones was for the Packers and be used just like you said. A possession type WR who moves the chains and can be effective in the Red Zone.

Razer's picture

...The arrest bothers me a bit, starting out early in your career with a drug possession obviously isn't the way to go. With that said it could be the "Wake-Up Call" Allison needed to really apply himself to be the best he can be...

I've read various character issues on this guy, enough to make me doubt his future with the Packers. Adding money to people who like to make bad decisions is like gas to fire. Like you say Nick, hopefully the coin drops - but I am not holding my breath.

RCPackerFan's picture

I really like Allison. Like the article said most people will compare him to Boykin. While I liked Boykin at the time too, I just see a different type of player with Allison. Allison is a really good route runner. He seems to understand the nuances of the WR position and knows how to get open against zone defenses. He built a really good rapport with Rodgers as well.

For 'not being fast' Allison seemed to have no problem creating a lot of separation. Also he averaged 16.8 yards per catch, which for a 'slow guy', that isn't bad.

The thing that impresses me the most with Allison is his hands and catching radius. He catches everything with his hands and can catch anything around him.

I hope for a big 2nd year from him.

croatpackfan's picture

I agree on your thoughts regarding Geronimo, Cory... And I think that we might be little to harsh regarding Davis. Let him some time. He is speed guy.It is not easy to harmonize speed and other little things necessary to blossom as WR.

Also, I think we very often forget how todays darlings were playing in their first seasons. I have to admit I did notr follow cheeseheadtv at time when Jordy Nelosn was starting his NFL journey. I think it would be interesting to read fan posts from that period.

What I can tell is that Randall Cobb had absoluite suport here and I remember how many was approving his contract claoiming that deak was simply steal...

Now, we hear that he is not earning his contract money...

RCPackerFan's picture

I tend to agree about Davis. A lot of people are writing him off. How about we give him some time and see what an offseason can do for him. They do call it draft and develop for a reason. Like you said it took Nelson and Driver a long time to become the players we know.
When Davis played he had some good moments. An offseason learning the offense and learning how to be a pro will do a lot for him.

dobber's picture

...not to mention eating a few extra cheeseburgers.

mrtundra's picture

I think TT has to be searching for replacements for Nelson and Cobb as they are getting older. Cobb has already been discussed as a possible trade prospect for someone. TT would be foolish to not resign Adams to a long term contract this season. Adams is a real star on this team after a shaky rookie season and will be a big, reliable target for Rodgers for as long as Rodgers plays the game. I think Allison will also be a reliable target if he gets more snaps. Rodgers seems to trust him.

Nick Perry's picture

Hey mtundra...Where have you saw or read Cobb being discussed in trade talks. I couldn't find a thing on it and the only place I've really saw it was from fans because of his salary.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Meh, he's okay. I like Allison, but. I don't see a very high ceiling there.

Bearmeat's picture

He doesn't solve the problems GB has, namely, the lack of deep speed to take the ceiling off the defense.

NE doesn't absolutely need that guy, because Brady never was a great athlete and now he has a noodle arm. GB would greatly benefit with some reliable outside speed.

I'm in agreement with NP above. Assuming he builds off last year and stays out of trouble, he could be a valuable 3rd WR. Useful. Not irreplaceable.

NMPF's picture

Average speed, average quickness, good size, nothing really jumps out saying this guy is more than 4th or 5th on depth chart. Except he is much more polished receiver than Janis or Davis. When #12 extends the play he follows the rules put in place by MM/EB. Which in turn earns the trust of #12, something that has been really lacking in rookie receivers around 1265. As far as pot possession/speeding, big deal.

dobber's picture

Some may view it as not being a big deal, but it's a test of his intellingence, commitment and willingness to live within the rules. He's got to be smart enough to know that these things get players suspended...and if you're hanging at the edge of relevance on an NFL roster, you might get the same number of chances from the league, but you don't get many chances from teams.

I really don't care what the average person's view is on pot, possession, and recreational use. These guys have to know what the league statute (which was collectively bargained) is and what it means to get caught. Until that changes, this kind of behavior is just plain dumb.

Razer's picture

Good summary.

He may have enough talent to play in this league, but as you say, a lack of commitment and intelligence will set the ceiling on his career. His story plays out many times a year in the NFL. Will he be smart enough to avoid those footsteps? So far, not so smart.

LayingTheLawe's picture

Being pulled over for speeding and having pot in the car is hardly a red flag to being a problem child in the NFL. Is there other evidence that his "problem" is his own attitude that will be the thing that keeps him from succeeding or not?

marpag1's picture

I would argue that "having pot in the car" is MOST DEFINITELY a red flag. How could it not be? Guys who get busted for drugs get suspended, you know. It doesn't matter if we personally think pot is a big deal. Being suspended is a big deal.

LayingTheLawe's picture

A 20 year old kid had pot in his car. That would put him on par with about every other 20 year old kid in this country at some point. The article implied that his attitude and work ethic were what might hold him back and I wanted to know what that was based on. I wasn't asking to be mean I was interested if there was more to be known.

dobber's picture

But very few other 20-year-old kids are under the jurisdiction of the NFL's substance abuse policies.

stockholder's picture

Whats next- Jail. Davis will be taking his place.

LayingTheLawe's picture

A pattern of behavior is something to watch for sure. Having pot in your car once is an indication of very little in and of itself. I was wanting to know the pattern. I don't follow college players. If they don't play for the Badgers I do not know them usually at all. To me saying someone was caught with pot once tells me little and I wanted to know if there was a larger pattern of behavior attached to this.

Allan Murphy's picture

I say he makes the team even with the pot deal it should be legal anyways it saves lives they need to get over it and legalize it .....

Lphill's picture

Amazing how many people are writing him off based on speculation. Michael Irvin is a dirt bag but yet he is in the HOF and on any show associated with the NFL . Give the kid a chance to prove himself on and off the field.

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