When Asher Allen announced he was skipping his senior season at Georgia with thoughts of becoming a top pick at defensive back in the April NFL draft, folks rolled their eyes. He spent much of last season playing with a broken hand. His junior season was inferior to his previous one, including zero interceptions.
Then along came Allen’s time on Tuesday in Indianapolis during the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Not good. “I ran a 4.47. That’s the time the NFL Network gave me, and, wow. That’s the slowest I’ve ever run in my life” said Allen, a former Tucker High School star, who nevertheless is on the verge of something good. He also knows as much, which is why he added, “After seeing myself [at the combine] with these other guys, I feel a tad bit better, actually, with my decision to make this jump.”
In other words, this strikingly bright owner of charisma and politeness isn’t exactly agonizing over missing another crack at Florida next season. Trust me. Better yet, trust the smile on your face after you study the whole package that is Allen. Simply put, he is an astute decision away by some NFL team of becoming a 5-foot-9, 194-pound steal for so many reasons.
Allen did the right thing by bolting Georgia early. That other stuff doesn’t matter, beginning with this: He is considered the other guy not named Matthew Stafford or Knowshon Moreno among the latest Bulldogs leaving before the end of their eligibility in search of barking their way into NFL fame.
“I’ve read stuff on the Internet where people have said I’d go in the third round, fourth round, 10th round,” Allen said. “I find it really funny. You mean to tell me that if I go in the fourth round, there are  players better than me, and probably 20 corners better? Nah, I don’t really see it.”
Neither should you or anybody else with a draft pick or a brain. For one, Allen is swifter than what he showed this week. “All the corners weren’t running what they were capable of running,” said Deion Sanders during the NFL Network telecast of Tuesday’s session, with Ohio State’s celebrated Malcolm Jenkins even clocking a miserable 4.55.
For another, Allen has splendid skills as a kick returner to complement his physical play at corner.
Here’s the big thing, though: During an era when a slew of NFL players are taking more mug shots than publicity shots, Allen is the perfect son — literally. “My wife and I were just talking about this, that Asher has never given us a bit of trouble his entire life, and I’m serious,” said Greg Allen, the proud father, whose son replaced the baggy pants and mumbled voices of many during interview sessions at the combine with a business suit and eye contact.
Said the younger Allen, laughing, “I probably broke every hand I shook. Once they got to see me and know me and respond to their questions in an intelligent way, they liked me.”
They had no choice.