San Diego Chargers Keenan Allen Separating Himself for Rookie of the Year
Two catches, two touchdowns.
Through 13 games, Allen has caught 63 of the 89 passes thrown his way (over 70% completion rate) for 931 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns. A third round pick and the eighth wide receiver taken in the NFL Draft, Allen has outproduced all rookie receivers by a large amount and has proved to be an absolute steal in the draft.
All the more impressive, Allen wasn’t expected to be a huge part of the Chargers offense in year one, but has now grabbed everyone’s attention once given the opportunity. Since stepping in as a starter due to injuries, Allen has scored at least one touchdown or gone over 100 yards receiving in seven of the 11 games he has started. Allen’s playmaking ability has been the key to Philip Rivers’ resurgence as well as a main reason why the Chargers remain the playoff picture.
Given the steep learning curve for rookie wide receivers, Allen’s quick rise to stardom is much more impressive than those of rookie running backs Eddie Lacy and Giovani Bernard, who are also considered frontrunners for the Rookie of the Year award. Bernard has made some good plays, but has yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game. Lacy, meanwhile, has been the workhorse that the Green Bay Packers have needed particularly with Aaron Rodgers out, but is averaging under four yards a carry and has slowed down in recent weeks. Rookie running backs who are handed starting positions are expected to produce right away, meaning those running backs should need to put up Adrian Peterson-like rookie stats in order to win the award. Lacy and Bernard haven’t done that.
Though Lacy and Bernard are good players and will be throughout their careers, Allen should be the top choice for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He has been the most explosive and consistent playmaker among rookies and will likely continue his play through the remaining two regular season games.