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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