Keenan Allen: Drug Problem or Not?

11:30am EDT 4/17/13
** You know what would be nice? If reporters could just work a story a little before bolting to make it public. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Tuesday afternoon that Cal WR Keenan Allen's drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine got red-flagged for "suspiciously high water content" and that Allen got retested this month. Pro Football Talk reported, however, that Allen's rep denied they have received any such notification. An agent would have to know better than to lie about something like this, right? The truth would/will undoubtedly come out. Schefter followed by reporting that the agent, JT Johnson, said Allen got rechecked medically for ankle and knee injuries with no drug test involved. Seems this is a non-story. We expect Allen to find a home near the middle of Round 1.

** Count NFL Films guru Greg Cosell among Keenan Allen's fans. Cosell says Allen can operate out wide or in the slot, even out of the backfield. " More often than not he looked like a big running back with the ball in his hands," Cosell wrote. Allen could prove an instant-impact fantasy football rookie. ** We'll be rolling out our list of the Top 10 Fantasy Football Impact Rookies shortly after next weekend's draft. But you won't be able to read it and take advantage unless you're a Draft Sharks member. Set your team up for success by joining now.

** Cosell also calls Tennessee WR Justin Hunter "the most physically talented wide receiver prospect in this draft class. He is, without question, the most explosive as a route runner with his long body (6'4"), route fluidity, vertical speed and playmaking ability at the catch point. Hunter is the most intriguing receiver on the board." Cosell said he expects Hunter to go in the 1st round and that he has heard some evaluators compare the prospect to Randy Moss.

** The Bills see plenty of talent in this year's incoming crop of rookie QBs. "This quarterback class is better than everybody thinks it is," GM Buddy Nix said. "Five or six of those guys -- maybe seven -- do a lot of things good and do them good enough to win. This is not a standard answer. I've said this from the start, that two or three of these guys will be franchise quarterbacks. I believe that." It sure sounds like the Bills would be willing to grab a QB with the 8th overall pick of next week's draft. If not there, look for them to trade back into the late 1st round, or add one with their early 2nd-round pick. Then again, it's the silly season. Maybe Nix is just trying to keep everyone from figuring out who the Bills really want.

** Of course, Ryan Nassib is the easiest QB to connect with the Bills and new HC Doug Marrone. ESPN's Jon Gruden says the former Syracuse passer is his favorite in the class. Gruden calls Nassib the readiest for the pros, lauding his smarts, versatility and experience. Could the Bills make Nassib the 8th pick overall? ** Gruden is still Gruden, after all. So he also likes a lot about Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel. "I think [Smith's] as complete from a versatility standpoint as anyone in this draft," he said. "He can run 4.55. I've seen him drive the ball accurately down the field. I've seen him throw the ball with touch and accuracy, make quick decisions and I've seen him be dominant at times." As for Manuel, Chucky says: "I don't think he's anywhere near to a finished product, but I do think he has a big upside, and he has a tremendous skill set that allows him to do a lot of different things. If you're with a creative offensive coach, look out. He could be a good player."

** Gruden also likes the talent in Tennessee QB Tyler Bray. But at least in that case, Gruden acknowledges that Bray needs a lot of work before he can start in the NFL.

** As of Tuesday, 29 teams have begun voluntary offseason workouts -- including 7 in minicamps. We took a look at the biggest early fantasy question facing each team right here.

** The Eagles figure to pursue an early-round QB. If they get one, he could jump into a wide-open competition. Philly gave 1st-team reps to all 3 of its QBs when it opened minicamp workouts on Tuesday. New HC Chip Kelly called his depth chart more of a seating chart at this point. We look to QB Michael Vick as the favorite to start. But the Eagles have little reason to force him onto the field if Nick Foles or Dennis Dixon looks better between now and September.

** Russ Lande of the National Football Post says he'd choose UNC RB Giovani Bernard over Alabama RB Eddie Lacy. "He has the potential to contribute in more areas than Lacy and is a legit big-play threat every time he touches the ball," Lande wrote. He celebrates Bernard's receiving ability over Lacy's mediocre skills in that area. Lande also says that Lacy shows poor vision between the tackles. We still liked Lacy at the top of our preliminary 2013 fantasy football dynasty rookie rankings. But we like Bernard a lot, too. He'll certainly come with as high a ceiling as anyone.

** The Cleveland Browns would love to trade out of their spot at 6th overall in the draft. But if they stick there, the team is reportedly focused on Alabama CB Dee Milliner. Should Milliner go earlier, Cleveland apparently likes LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo next. That selection would indicate the staff doesn't believe in Jabaal Sheard converting from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB. Of course, we're within 2 weeks of the draft. Don't believe anything you read.

** The Chicago Sun-Times pegs Bears RB Matt Forte as the likely top beneficiary of HC Marc Trestman's arrival. When Trestman took over the CFL's Montreal Alouettes in 2008, team RB receptions jumped from 45 to 104. Forte has ranked among the most productive receiving backs in the league since he arrived. And Trestman has already lauded all aspects of his game: "Matt has the entire scope and ability to be able to run all different kinds of runs with him, and you can make all the different kinds of throws to him. And he's a willing blocker, which is critically important." Forte shouldn't make it out of the 1st 18 picks in any 2013 fantasy football draft.

** Classy and concise broadcasting legend Pat Summerall died Tuesday at age 82. We join football fans everywhere in remembering his years of work alongside John Madden. Many of us who grew up in the '90s will also remember Summerall as the unflappable announcer in Madden video games. ("There's a man down.") RIP, Mr. Summerall. Have a great day. Be sure to check out Shark Bites for more fantasy football player news.

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