At the start of the season, it may have been a stretch to imagine that Keenan Allen could be selected as the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year or the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association Rookie of the Year. Being the eighth wide receiver selected in the draft and recovering from a knee surgery, many teams passed on Allen. Now that 17 weeks of football have come and gone, Allen is apart of a small, elite group of wide receivers.
Allen, is only the ninth rookie ever to record over 1,000 receiving yards.
Not even the league’s most recognizable names such as Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions or Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos can claim to hold such an honor. Yet Allen, selected in the third round, the 76th overall pick in the draft, has five 100-yard receiving games, he leads his class with 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and has won four Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards. Allen also surpasses Ladainian Tomlinson’s rookie record of 59 receptions and John Jefferson’s rookie record of 1,001 receiving yards.
Whether Allen wins any rookie of the year award this season or not, he has truly been valuable for the Chargers this season. Oddly enough, Allen recently admitted to nearly quitting. Keenan Allen the competitor couldn’t stand waiting on the sideline. With injuries to Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd, the pool of offensive weapons grew short and the Chargers desperately leaned on the mighty rookie. Patience was a necessity and largely paid off for Allen.
By Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Allen only needed an additional 43 yards to hit 1,000 and 45 yards to set the franchise record. Allen would pull in 89 yards to close out his rookie season with 1,046.
The San Diego Chargers will need to see the same productivity in the playoffs from Allen if they are going to have any chance of prevailing against teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals or the Denver Broncos.
Photo Credit: Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports
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