Geronimo Allison, WR
School: Illinois | Conference: Big Ten
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 196 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late Rounds or Undrafted
NFL Comparison: Leonard Hankerson
I want Geronimo Allison to be so much better than he appears to be. First, that name is Hall of Fame worthy. Second, he's a big receiver with decent production in a Power Five conference. Unfortunately, he doesn't offer all that much more. He's got good hands, but he is plagued with a terrible case of focus drops. Thanks to his size and fairly impressive body control, he can win most jump balls, but he doesn't have a really long history of doing so.
The Leonard Hankerson comparison is far from perfect, but I chose it for a reason. He's a big receiver with plenty of potential and the ability to create mismatches, but he seems destined to have about as much success, or less, than Hankerson has at the pro level. Hankerson came out of college with much more speed than Allison has — Hankerson ran a 4.43 40 at the Combine, while Allison ran a 4.67 at the Combine and a 4.58 at his Pro Day — and he had a stronger college resume than the Illinois pass-catcher does, but the point remains: These are big, lanky receivers who have a great deal of upside but simply too much downside that you'll ultimately just end up frustrated with them.
Ultimately, he has a great deal of upside. Good coaching, a positive attitude and a strong work ethic would do wonders for this kid, who could end up a reliable receiver in a few years. The major problem with that is he likely needs all of those things before he can ever approach that level. If he's not in an ideal situation, or he doesn't fully commit to improving himself, he'll be out of the league within a few years — if he ever makes it into the league.
- His size is easily his biggest (no pun intended) asset. Simply having decent hands and a 6-foot-3 frame justifies a tryout at the NFL level.
- After just 41 catches for 598 yards in 2014, Allison increased his role in the Illinois offense in 2015, putting up 65 catches for 882 yards, a rate of nearly 5.5 catches per game.
- His two main weaknesses are a lack of top-end speed and a tendency to lose concentration; he can work on his sprint speed with a quality conditioning coach — he'll never be a world-class sprinter, but he can shed a few hundreths off his 40-time with some work — and focus is something that can be taught.
- Come on. That name is top-notch. He's worth bringing to training camp for that alone.
- There doesn't seem to be a whole lot that he can do that the average receiver can't do, except for be pretty tall.
- Almost all of his routes are short curls or slants. They get the job done and move the chains, but anybody can run those routes. And if you just want a receiver to run a five-yard route, why not have it be a Antonio Brown or Julio Jones (or DeSean Jackson or Matt Jones), who can make plays with the ball in his hands? Allison doesn't offer much playmaking ability after the catch.
- The drops are killers. According to NFL.com, he dropped more than 11 percent of catchable passes thrown his way in 2015, and keep in mind most of these routes are 10 yards or less.
- He's not much of an athlete. Even his Pro Day 40-time of 4.58 wasn't anything to write home about, and that's coming at a Pro Day, where times are always generous.
- The best game of his collegiate career — junior college excluded — came in his third game at Illinois, when he put up 9 catches for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Washington. He then scored a touchdown in each of his next three games, but went scoreless in his final five games of the season, and he only reached the 100-yard mark one other time the rest of the season. When he's good, he flashes great potential. But then these lengthy stretches of irrelevance rear their heads.
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
There would be no harm in bringing him aboard. In all likelihood, he'll go undrafted. There's a chance somebody takes a flyer on him in the seventh round, but even that's probably a stretch. The Redskins would love to add a big receiver, so the fit makes sense, but he needs to develop his game considerably. He offers very little else aside from possibly winning some jump balls and simply providing another body, but if that's all you're looking for, there are plenty of other receivers hanging around the NFL looking for work that would suffice.
If Scot McCloughan is confident in his coaching staff's ability to develop a young, quite raw receiver, then he's worth a seventh-round pick. I don't see that being the case, personally, which isn't a shot at the coaching staff as much as it is a condemnation of Allison's quite limited ability.
Once again, I really hope Allison finds a new gear and taps into his potential. I desperately want to be at a bar a few years from now watching a game and screaming "GERRRONNNIMMOOOOOOO!!!" I just don't see it happening, unless it's a preseason game.