Before They Were Pros: CB Asher Allen

Vikings CB Asher Allen talked about a variety of topics at the NFL Scouting Combine before he had any idea he would end up with the Vikings. One of those topics included Percy Harvin, as well as Allen's confidence in his variety of skills and special teams abilities.

On his decision to declare for the draft …

"Obviously I love the University of Georgia, but I really feel very confident in myself. And also with the competition I'm going against at cornerback I feel like I'm ready for the NFL and ready to compete."

On submitting his name to see where he might be drafted …

"Yes, (they said) 1-2-3. Hopefully that can come true."

On the questions he was getting in the interview process …

"They want to see me run and I can't wait to run. They know I'm a physical cornerback who they know can go out with anybody and they're just really waiting to come out and see me run. I've run from 4.33 to 4.39. If I can get that range here, that would be great."

On him being able to return kicks as well …

"Oh yeah. Punt return, kick return, my sophomore year I broke the kickoff return record at Georgia and we've had stellar athletes come through that school. That's something I also bring, a great returner. That's part of my game. And also all special teams. Whatever team gets me, I'll most definitely love to do special teams and kickoff return. I (covered kicks too) and did every special teams since I've been at Georgia.

On wide receiver Percy Harvin

"Obviously he's a great player. I was a dodger corner at Georgia and Percy did more of a slide. My freshman year when I played nickel back and he was in the slot I covered him some. I believe he had one catch. The other years he goes to the backfield, plays running back some, so it was never that one-on-one type of action. He's obviously a really great player.

"I'm sure he's a competitor and comes from a great program. I'm sure he'll make that jump greatly."

On the best receiver he's covered …

"I'd say in practice. My practice, my seven-on-seven one-on-one was me, (Matthew) Stafford, Knowshon (Moreno) and Mohamed Massaquio. We went against that for the last two-three years. I think that practice, that combination of talent and skill, going against that every day was the best."

On Stafford making Allen a better player …

"You go against the best, your game can only rise. He puts the ball in the best spot. You know about his arm strength. There's not a throw he can't make. Taking chances here in practice, getting interceptions, that helps build confidence against a great quarterback. He's really good."

On his injury as a high school senior …

"Yes, I had an A/C sprain. I missed five games. I never missed a game at Georgia. I played in every game. It never affected me. I got the bench press record at Georgia, 415 for cornerbacks, so that never affected me at all."

On the type of player he is …

"A complete cornerback, somebody who can come up for the run, and like a safety. Somebody who can cover like a corner, and also a great special teams player who will compete on every down."

On the teams he talked to early at the NFL Scouting Combine …

"A lot of teams. A lot to name. From Atlanta to Kansas City to Oakland across the country."

On his training …

"At CES sports in Atlanta with Tim Smith. Also just working out with the players there on the weekends."

On if Atlanta would be a preferred choice …

"I would love to play in Atlanta. I live 11 miles from the Stadium. That would be great. But I understand this is a business and you got to go where they tell you to go. I would love to play football no matter where it is."

On the NFL players he looks up to …

"I grew up a Deion Sanders fan, a Darrell Green fan, obviously Champ Bailey coming from University of Georgia. Those three guys I really try to pattern my game from them. Their cover skills, the swagger they bring to the field. And also the returning you see in all those guys, I bring that."

On playing man vs. zone …

"I can play at both. We did both. Sometimes I was the back side of three-by-ones, I was the single guy. We did man to man. We also ran cover 2, 4, 3, zone blitz, man blitz. We ran a great combination of coverages and I'm experienced in all of them."


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