Green and Bold: Door Is Open for Geronimo Allison

Aside from having one of the greatest names an NFL receiver has ever sported, Packers wideout Geronimo Allison is finding himself close to accomplishing what once seemed impossible: landing a spot with the Packers after training camp among a talented and crowded position group.   

Aside from having one of the greatest names an NFL receiver has ever sported, Packers wideout Geronimo Allison is finding himself close to accomplishing what once seemed impossible: landing a spot with the Packers after training camp among a talented and crowded position group. 

The undrafted free agent out of the University of Illinois began making a name for himself outside the Big Ten Conference during his senior season, when he finished fifth in the conference with 65 catches and seventh in receiving yards, with 882.

Then, leading up the NFL draft Allison began gaining recognition on a more national level, outside insider draft circles. During the East-West Shrine Game in January, he led all receivers with six catches for 68 yards and two scores. 

But Allison did not hear his name called during the NFL draft, and so he signed with Green Bay as a free agent, joining an established group of veterans and up-and-comers hoping to fill one of what will likely only amount to six roster spots for the position.

Even if UDFAs such as Allison had hopes out beating out, say, third-year players such as Jared Abbrederis, the Packers went ahead and drafted rookie Trevor Davis out of California, who seems like a lock to make the roster based on his return ability alone, to say nothing of his speed and showy playmaking skills. 

Ultimately, it seemed unlikely that any wideout could break through the barrier at this position. 

But now, the situation has shifted. Jeff Janis has a fractured hand and will be out at least 4-6 weeks after having surgery, as ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported. Of course, that doesn't necessarily free up a roster spot; the Packers could keep Janis inactive until he's healthy. But with Jordy Nelson still on the PUP list, it's safe to say the Packers could have an opening heading into the first week of the regular season. 

Allison, for his part, is doing everything he can to prove that he deserves a shot at the 53-man roster, or, at the very least, the practice squad. In fact, he's doing enough in training camp that, were the Packers to try to stash him on the practice squad, he would almost certainly get poached. 

Every day brings a new story of Allison's spectacular plays at practice. 

There was the touchdown reception with QB1 on August 10:

The touchdown catch on the back-shoulder throw from Brett Hundley on August 15:

Allison has a long road ahead of him to even make the Packers' practice squad, let alone challenge one of the veterans or the rookie Davis for a roster spot. But by all accounts, he's going to make that decision a very, very hard one for Ted Thompson. 

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Comments (20)

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Hematite's picture

August 17, 2016 at 06:09 am

I can hear Packers fans screaming, Geronimo!!!!!

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croatpackfan's picture

August 17, 2016 at 06:57 am

Well, I think his destiny is tightly connected with his ST performances... If he can be productive on ST, he might found himself inside 53...

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Nick Perry's picture

August 17, 2016 at 06:25 am

The first thing I do after the final day of the Draft is check out the UDFA the Packers sign. I had hoped they'd sign the TE from Harvard (Ben Braunecker) but when I saw they signed Geronimo Allison I was excited. The kid is a Player. Might not be the fastest, didn't "Kill It" at the Combine, but I had watched a few Illinois games and he'd stand out.

Here's his Combine if anyone cares to check it out.

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=132233&draftyear...

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 17, 2016 at 07:14 am

Before training camp I didn't think Allison had much of a chance to make the 53. Now i think he has a realistic chance of making it.

One thing that really helps Allison is that he is a different type of WR then what is already on the roster. Allison reminds me a bit of Alshon Jeffrey. He has the ability to post up like Jeffrey can. The Packers really don't have that type of WR on the roster.

I am looking forward to seeing how the WR position works itself out.

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MarkinMadison's picture

August 17, 2016 at 07:41 am

Jeffrey ran a couple of ticks under 4.5 in the 40. Allison ran a couple of ticks under 4.7. I don't know. Even with the post-up ability, he feels like the same kind of wide receiver we have plenty of: guys without speed. If Jordy returns somewhat diminished, isn't he your post-up WR?

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 17, 2016 at 08:19 am

Not comparing them with numbers or anything like that. I'm not saying that Allison is the next Jeffrey or anything. Just saying his play on the field reminds me of Jeffrey's a bit.

Allison has the ability be that post up type of WR. The Packers don't have that. They have 2 WR's with good size but neither are the post up type of WR's. The closest they have to a post up WR is Adams. But Allison is bigger.

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Handsback's picture

August 17, 2016 at 07:23 am

I'm not a coach and I didn't spend the night at a HI Express, but everybody (that means everybody who post comments after the Packer's practice) has said that this kid gets open and catches the ball. I liked what little I could see from the game against Cleveland, but here's my question...is he a taller Abby? If so, do you keep him over Abby? Also is he just a WR, or can he play on ST?

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Guisado's picture

August 17, 2016 at 07:27 am

Spent his first two years of eligibility at Iowa Western Community College. There could be a lot of untapped talent left in him.

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marpag1's picture

August 17, 2016 at 08:21 am

Yup. Or it could be that he went to community college because he never had that much talent to begin with. Just sayin'

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

August 17, 2016 at 12:42 pm

He missed two years of high school sports because of academic ineligibility. This scared away any offers from big schools and forced him to attend community college. He eventually got his grades up and then got an offer from Illinois.

https://illinois.rivals.com/news/illini-receiver-has-made-a-career-out-o...

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marpag1's picture

August 17, 2016 at 02:56 pm

Great. Does any of this mean that he has the talent or superior athletic ability to make it in the NFL? Or does it just mean that he isn't very smart?

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

August 17, 2016 at 04:49 pm

I guess we'll find out. Stay tuned.

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marpag1's picture

August 17, 2016 at 08:51 am

"Aside from having one of the greatest names an NFL receiver has ever sported..."

This is built on the hope that his play will warrant him being called "Geronimo." On the other hand, it might warrant him being called "Allison" ... which isn't quite as awesome. Looks like Geronimo, plays like Allison?

Based on his production so far, I see no reason why he couldn't be the next Diondre Borel or Brett Swain. Maybe even a Jarrett Boykin.

Yeah it's possible he could make the roster... but I hope it doesn't come to that. It seems every year there is a ton of hype for some bottom-feeding roster spot, esp at WR.

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jasonperone's picture

August 17, 2016 at 10:21 am

Bush league with the "looks like Geronimo, plays like Allison" comment, pags. Major bush league.

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marpag1's picture

August 17, 2016 at 05:10 pm

Oh no!!! LOL.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 17, 2016 at 10:36 am

He has done enough to merit discussion, but it almost has to be for PS. He would have to really play great for a roster spot.

We have that old bugaboo, WR X is so good he will almost certainly get poached if we try to stash him on the PS. Maybe, but probably not. I'll watch him play and form an opinion on that later.

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Handsback's picture

August 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Every year in the NFL a 6-7th round or UDFA WR becomes a starter. He could be at least a #3 or 4 for the Packers.

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PETER MAIZ's picture

August 17, 2016 at 04:35 pm

Geronimo seems to have upside galore. Sure, he isn't the fastest, but he is tall. Let's watch him during pre-season and see what happens. I think the coaching staff is quite intrigued!

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RobinsonDavis's picture

August 17, 2016 at 11:38 pm

If anybody read McGinn's piece, he points out that Allison is taller than Adams and probably as fast. Likewise, Adams remains inconsistent in separation, and I would also point out, catching the ball. I would have to agree currently. However, can anybody imagine Ted letting go a high draft pick for a FA. It has happened, but rare.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

August 18, 2016 at 06:28 am

Geronimo fits the description of what McCarthy said they were looking for this year: "big bodies who can threaten the inside of the field." Personally, I see great win-the-contested-catch ability from GA, and surprising quickness in his breaks. Most of the Packer's former UDFA tall receivers (Ruvell Martin, et al) had height and hands, but lacked both speed AND quickness. At 6'4" Geronimo is a different kind of weapon. As a side note, it's interesting that the Packers really have a bunch of very different body types and skill sets at WR right now. No two are really "the same."

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