Dwayne Allen, IND
Let’s assume for a moment that Allen isn’t the North pole to every football’s South pole (magnet humor, anyone?) and that his baffling touchdown for every four receptions will surely regress. The most recent comp we can look to for such a feat is (gulp) Martavis Bryant, who accomplished the same on two fewer targets whilst recording 150 more receiving yards. If we forego Bryant — mainly due to his forecasted caliber as an NFL receiver on the rise — and instead use the next closest historical comp to project Allen’s follow-up breakout year, it’s even less exciting than imagined.
Marc Boerigter was 24 (the same age as Allen) when he caught eight touchdowns on only 20 receptions. He finished the 2002 season tied for the sixth-most touchdowns in the league. In 2003, he followed up his surprising campaign with 15 fantasy points . . . total. Not to say Allen will fall that mightily from the heavens, but another Top 13 finish is highly unlikely.
William Likely, CB (junior): The junior cornerback was Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Florida as a junior, but didn’t get an offer to any of the big local schools because of his height (5’7). That will still be an issue in the NFL, but he’s a terrific athlete who is one of the best corners in the country. He has proven time and again he can cover receivers nearly a foot taller than him.
A.J. Hendy, S (senior): Senior safety and former four-star recruit who was unable to hold a starting job due to injury, suspension, etc. Hendy finally gets his chance this year, so he could sneak onto draft boards with a strong season, because he has the talent. He won the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week award two years ago against West Virginia.