Did Bulldogs’ Allison improve draft stock with better 40?
Former Fresno State linebacker Jeff Allison had a private workout last week where he shaved roughly a full second off the 40-yard dash time he posted at the NFL Combine.
But even in the “real low 4.7” range there are questions regarding the draft stock of the Mountain West Conference defensive player of the year plus his former teammates who hope to hear their name this week, from wideout KeeSean Johnson to safety Mike Bell to cornerback Tank Kelly.
Fresno State has won 22 football games and one conference championship over the past two years, but it has had zero players selected in the draft in the past three.
With the first round of the draft kicking off on Thursday, Allison said there is nervousness but also excitement over the next three days. The second and third rounds are on Friday and fourth through seventh rounds are on Saturday.
“It’s a little bit of both because you never know what’s going to happen,” said Allison, who left behind a senior season of college football to enter the draft.
“I’m excited to see what my future holds ahead of me, but at the same time I’m going through this process trying to stay calm and humble and let God work his wonders.”
Johnson, who participated in local pro days with the Raiders and 49ers, is the highest-rated former Bulldog by ProFootballFocus in its Top 250 at No. 173. The Bulldogs’ all-time leading receiver also is rated as 38th best wideout and 253rd overall by CBS Sports, and has been pegged for the latter rounds of the draft.
Bell is ranked No. 11 at safety and No. 152 overall by CBS Sports, and also projected as a late-round selection.
Allison is rated No. 38 at linebacker and No. 324 overall by CBS Sports. His stock slipped after the NFL Combine, where that 40 time was tied for 20th among the 22 linebackers to go through testing in Indianapolis. He also was toward the bottom third in the vertical and broad jumps and bench press reps. But his past two seasons were very productive on the field, racking up 132 and 126 total tackles.
Fresno State hasn’t had a player taken in the draft since 2015 when defensive lineman Tyeler Davison went to New Orleans in the fifth round and safety Derron Smith went to Cincinnati and offensive lineman Cody Wichmann went to the Rams in the sixth round.
Allison did not run a 40-yard dash at the Fresno State Pro Day, when wideout Brian Burt hit 4.31, wideout Jamire Jordan was timed in 4.41 seconds and Kelly at 4.43 seconds.
After the combine, Allison’s focus was on football-specific drills.
“I was still working on it, but I wasn’t comfortable with it so I didn’t want to take any chances,” he said. “I just wanted to come out here and run a faster time and I did.
“I came out here and had a private workout, ran another 40. I feel like I did what I could in a short amount of time. I’m just blessed, you know? For me to run that 40 and have this opportunity ahead of me is unbelievable.”