Learned something interesting in a conversation with Asher Allen on Monday.
Remember back in December when he and several other UGA underclassmen petitioned the NFL’s advisory board for a projection of their draft status?
Well, when Allen surprisingly announced in January that he would enter the draft, he said he hoped to be a second-round pick but declined to say what round the advisory board had forecast for him.
“I don’t want to get into that,” the Bulldogs’ junior cornerback said at the time.
Allen told me Monday that the league’s advisory board actually projected that he would be a fifth- to seventh-round pick.
“At first, I was, like, ‘What are you looking at?’” he said. “I didn’t know if they had the right paper.”
But as he asked questions he realized, he said, that the advisory board tends to give underclassmen a conservative, “worst-case-scenario” projection so as not to overly encourage them to leave school.
“Knowing what all was inside that [projection] made it a lot easier to grasp,” Allen said. “I understood where they were coming from, so I read it a little bit different.”
And he never believed he’d be a fifth- to seventh-round pick.
“I just didn’t think I’d go that low,” he said.
Allen, as you know, was selected by Minnesota in the third round Sunday — a lot closer to his hope (second round) than to the advisory board’s projection.
Looking back on his controversial and somewhat criticized decision to enter the draft a year early, Allen feels he made the right call. Playing with a broken hand in last year’s final five regular-season games reminded him that anything could happen injury-wise if he stayed another year. But the main factor, the Tucker High graduate said, was simply that he felt it was his time.
“My decision to leave was pretty much just feeling I’m ready,” he said. “My dream is to play in the NFL, and the opportunity was right in front of me.
“You never know when a season-ending injury may happen. You never know what may happen. But I did know the draft was coming, and I had an opportunity.
“I’m happy with my decision.”
Allen said he’s been in touch with his five Georgia teammates who were drafted: Matthew Stafford (Detroit), Knowshon Moreno (Denver), Mohamed Massaquoi (Cleveland), Corvey Irvin (Carolina) and Jarius Wynn (Green Bay).
“Kind of funny,” Allen noted, “that all the boys except Corvey went somewhere cold.”