Coming off an impressive 2013 debut campaign, San Diego Chargers rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen was recently awarded the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Allen finished the 2013 regular season with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns.
He broke franchise rookie receiving records and had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games twice, becoming the first Chargers rookie to achieve that feat since 1960, and his five total 100-yard games was also a San Diego rookie record.
Allen was projected to be a first-round pick entering the 2013 NFL Draft. However, after sustaining an injury to his posterior cruciate ligament during the 2012 season, he missed the NFL scouting combine and had an underwhelming performance at the University of California‘s pro day. Teams began to worry about Allen’s past knee issues and he tumbled all the way to the third round, where the Chargers picked him 76th overall.
He struggled in training camp and entered the season buried in the depth chart behind established veteran receivers like Vincent Brown and Malcom Floyd. Due to season-ending injuries to Floyd and Denario Alexander, Allen was thrust into the starting lineup and began developing a strong rapport with quarterback Phillip Rivers.
All season long, Allen’s vice-grip hands, fluid route running skills and ability to find the end zone were on display. In San Diego’s divisional round loss to the Denver Broncos, Allen finished with a stat line of six catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
Looking forward to the 2014 season, Allen may lose a few snaps to other receivers in the Chargers depth chart, but that won’t affect his value too much. Fantasy owners should go into the season viewing Allen as a legitimate WR-2 option with WR-1 upside. Allen could be poised to become an elite wide receiver in the NFL for many years to come.