San Diego Chargers’ 5 Biggest Breakout Candidates of 2014

San Diego Chargers' 5 Biggest Breakout Candidates of 2014

San Diego Chargers
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers were eliminated by the Denver Broncos in the playoffs last season, but they still have reason to be excited for the upcoming season. A change in management led to improved play and a late-season streak to bump the Chargers into the playoffs. This year, they will be looking to go even deeper and will hope several players can take a big leap. These five guys are candidates to do just that in 2014.

5. Keenan Allen

Keenan Allen
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

5. Keenan Allen

Keenan Allen
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Keenan Allen was arguably the best rookie in the NFL last season with over 1,000 yards receiving. He was Philip Rivers’ go-to guy down the stretch and came up with many huge receptions for the Chargers late in the season. This year he is primed to make the jump into the league’s elite and truly establish himself as a dominant force.

4. Ladarius Green

Ladarius Green
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

4. Ladarius Green

Ladarius Green
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gates isn’t getting any younger, and the Chargers will need someone to fill his shoes. Ladarius Green is oozing with potential, and his speed makes him a nightmare to cover one on one. He will surely get more targets and more opportunities in the red zone.

3. Melvin Ingram

Melvin Ingram
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

3. Melvin Ingram

Melvin Ingram
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Ingram was hurt most of last season, but he still has a lot of potential. He is the best pass-rusher on this team, and if he can stay healthy, should be able to reach double-digit sacks.

2. Donald Butler

Donald Butler
Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports

2. Donald Butler

Donald Butler
Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports

Donald Butler does not get much publicity around the league, but he was rewarded for his efforts with a contract to stay with the Chargers. He is extremely underrated for a player with the ability to cover up the mistakes of his teammates. With a better defensive line, he has the ability to compete for postseason awards this year.

1. Manti Te'o

Manti Te'o
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

1. Manti Te'o

Manti Te'o
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Injuries resulted in a slow start for Manti Te’o, but he was able to adapt to the speed of the game over the season and showed that he can be a good player at this level. Playing next to Butler for a whole season, he should be able to make plenty of plays for a Chargers defense desperate for playmakers.


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