Allen off to the NFL

Keenan Allen (USA Today Sports)

California junior wide receiver Keenan Allen will enter the NFL draft, departing as the Golden Bears' career leader in receptions.

BERKELEY, Calif. – California wide receiver Keenan Allen will forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft, the school announced in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

"I am grateful for all of the opportunities the University of California has provided me over the past three seasons," Allen said. "The experience and friendships I have gained at Cal will help me throughout my life both on and off the field. I have always dreamed of having an opportunity to play in the NFL, and my time at Cal has helped me get to the point in my career where I believe I am ready to take that next step. I am thankful for my experience at Cal and am excited about what the future holds."

The decision was hardly a surprise, as Allen, who set the Golden Bears record for career receptions in just 33 games, is widely regarded as a probable first-round selection.

Allen had 205 catches for 2,570 yards, third-most in school history, with 17 touchdown receptions, seventh-most in school history, despite being saddled with largely inept quarterback play during his time at Cal.

His best season came as a sophomore in 2011, when he earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after catching 98 passes for 1,343 yards, both second-best in school history in a single season.

However, his production regressed this past season as Cal limped to a 3-9 record, finishing with 61 receptions, 737 yards, and six touchdowns. Allen missed what would end up being the final three games of his college career with a minor left knee injury.

Allen also proved to be a dynamic return specialist, averaging 14.13 yards per punt return in 2012, leading the Pac-12 and ranking fifth nationally.

Scouting Keenan Allen
Positives: Allen has prototypical NFL size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) with surprising elusiveness in the open field; He runs a complete route tree and is effective on screens, intermediate, and deep passes; Solid blocker in the run game; Well-liked and respected by teammates and coaches.

Negatives: Despite physical gifts, Allen did not make enough game-changing plays on a regular basis; He often put up his best statistical performances in games when Cal was blown out (see: Oregon and USC 2011); Occasionally lost his temper and focus on the field, to the detriment of his team.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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