The San Diego Chargers‘ receiving corps, thought to be anchored by the injured Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander, has their No. 1 receiver in third-round pick, Keenan Allen. In addition to injuries, inconsistencies from Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown have opened the door for Allen to shine and stake his claim for NFL Rookie of the Year.
Currently, Allen leads all NFL rookies this season with 58 catches for 843 yards and three touchdowns. With only two more catches, he will set a new team rookie record, surpassing LaDainian Tomlinson who had 59 catches for the Chargers in 2001.
Allen’s 83 targets and 843 receiving yards lead all Chargers’ receivers, and because of his ability to find open field and make plays it has landed him at the top of the depth chart and a favorite of Philip Rivers.
The wide receiver’s 512 of 843 total yards have come between 11-20 yards and most of Allen’s receptions have come from Rivers’ left side. Of Allen’s 58 receptions, 45 have led to first downs and his yards after catch leave him only behind Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead.
In an offense designed for Rivers to release the ball quicker, Allen’s speed from the break fits this system.
Eddie Lacy seems to be the front-runner for the NFL Rookie of the Year and starring in a playoff bound franchise boosts his winning probability. However, Allen’s key to earning the honor is remaining consistent and finding the end zone. His rise on the field will draw attention from defenses the rest of the season. So if he breaks 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns, expect voters to think twice.