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February 23, 2013
Future 49er? Cal WR has session with SF receiver's coach

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 49ers took an earlier look at Cal receiver Keenan Allen, who is widely considered one of the two best wideouts in the draft but who could slide, because of an injury, at least toward the 49ers at the bottom of the first round.

Throughout the draft process, the 49ers will meet with nearly every player on their draft board, and Allen will be examined by every receiver-needy team in the league. (St. Louis at picks 16 and 22, and Minnesota at pick 23 are possibilities). The 49ers' early interest is worth noting, however, because of their question marks at wide receiver.

Allen could slip a little due to a knee injury he suffered last season and then aggravated during his recent training. He will not run the 40-yard dash on Sunday with the rest of the receivers but will do so during Cal's pro day on March 14. He said he is aiming to run a 4.4-second 40.

Allen said his interview was with receivers coach John Morton, who had him chart plays on a white board. Here are some experts from Allen's media session:

Who do you try to emulate?
KA: Calvin Johnson, of course. I like to compare myself to Anquan Boldin -- aggressive, physicalness like that.

What do you like about Boldin?
KA: His physicalness, going up and making catches you don't think he's going to come down with. Flacco just throws it up there sometimes, and he always makes incredible catches, including the Super Bowl game, so that's what I like about him.

Did you play much out of the slot?
KA: I played a lot in the slot, definitely in college. Third down, second down, I get in there with the linebacker and they'd get a mismatch. So, did that a lot. Definitely comfortable in the slot.

What are you telling teams about yourself?
KA: Great character, great team play. Trying to make an impact as soon as I get there. My work ethic is there, determined to be successful.

What do you need to work on?
KA: I can work on everything, really. Most important, route techniques. Getting in and out of my breaks.

What about the possibility of playing in the 49ers offense?
KA: Well, they kind of switched it up having Kaepernick back there. They kind of went to the option, stuff like that. But I'm definitely liking what they're doing, especially being in the Bay Area. They're (a team) I'd be familiar with.

On the 49ers visit
KA: Well, the coach (John Morton) was real strict and detailed, so I liked that a lot. His coaching was very individual. He likes to get out there and run it too, so repetition is definitely important for him.

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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