Packers: Geronimo Allison set for a breakout season

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 24: Geronimo Allison
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 24: Geronimo Allison /

As Week 1 of the regular season gets underway, one Green Bay Packers player ready to make a huge jump this year is Geronimo Allison.

Allison will be entering his third year in the league, a feat that not many other than Allison himself may have expected. He got his start in Green Bay as an undrafted rookie from the University of Illinois, where over his two years he was able to put up 106 catches, 1,480 yards and 10 touchdowns.

However, as we look ahead to the 2018 season, Allison has come a long ways from being that undrafted rookie. He will be playing a significant role in this offense and is expected to be a key contributor. With Jordy Nelson in Oakland, Allison will be the second wideout option for Aaron Rodgers, with Davante Adams on the other side and Randall Cobb in the slot.

Other Packers wide receivers entering their third year with Rodgers have shown a steep improvement in their production and I expect nothing different from Allison.

As a rookie, Allison didn’t see much of the field but when he did he made it count. He was able to haul in 12 receptions for 202 yards and a touchdown. When he had the ball in his hands he was able to show off how dynamic he can be by averaging nearly 17 yards per reception.

In year two Allison’s numbers continued to trend upwards, bringing in 23 receptions for 253 yards but unfortunately no touchdowns. A portion of this can be attributed to the “Brett Hundley Effect”. Hundley was timid and indecisive in his decision-making and reluctant to throw the ball down the field, resulting in less production for Allison as well as the rest of the receiving corps.

Through training camp and preseason, Allison has made his presence known. He’s looked very sharp in practice and is exuding confidence on the field. Allison is aware of the integral part he will play in this Packers offense and isn’t taking that lightly.

Allison has shown his work ethic on the field in practice, but many have taken notice of what he does off the field. Allison could be classified as a “film junkie”, spending hours in the film room. This without a doubt has helped him shorten his learning curve in becoming an impactful NFL wide receiver.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has taken note of Allison’s hard work and even during Rodgers’ limited playing time in 2017, he has shown that he trusts the young receiver to go make a play when it is crunch time. A privilege that many other wide receivers haven’t been able to earn with Rodgers.

Allison’s strengths as a pass catcher are in his ability to break free from press coverage with his quick feet and head fakes, as well as being able to go up and get the ball at its high-point before the corner has a chance to make a play. He is also very good along the sideline, able to control his body and keep his feet inbounds. This skill set will make Allison a red zone threat and a potential favorite of Rodgers in that part of the field.

To look for success as a third year receiver under Rodgers, we just have to look across the field to Davante Adams. Although a much higher draft pick than Allison, Adams didn’t light it up his first two years by any means. In fact, many fans were upset with him due to dropping some catchable passes early on. But by his third year, he was more confident in the system and had shown Rodgers in practice that he could be trusted in a game.

In Adams’ third season he was able to bring in 75 catches, which was 25 more than the previous year. He also more than doubled the number of receiving yards he had, racking up 997 on the season. Lastly, his touchdown total jumped to 12 when he had four combined over his first two seasons. Adams was able to put these numbers up as the second wideout behind Jordy, similarly Allison will be in the same role behind Adams.

Allison has all the tools available to make a similar jump as Adams did. As a big, quick receiver he has all the measurables and has shown that he’s more than willing to put in the work on and off the field.

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He’s also accomplished one of the more difficult tasks of being a Packers wide receiver, and that is gaining the trust of Aaron Rodgers. This will be the season that the rest of the NFL finds out just how good Geronimo Allison is.