Pro Bowl predictions: The Keenan Allen edition
By Nick Mansoor
Welcome back to my Pro Bowl predictions. Last time, we talked about outside linebacker Melvin Ingram. Today, we will be focusing on a player on offense, none other than wide receiver Keenan Allen.
The Chargers are fortunate to have a really good receiver like Allen on the roster. If his career goes the right way, he could possibly go down as one of the best receivers to wear the blue and gold.
Allen was drafted in the 3rd round in 2013, and it didn’t take long for other general managers and NFL analysts to realize that he was a steal. A first-round projection falling to the third round due to a college injury was a big reason why other GM’s passed on him. Tom Telesco saw otherwise and took a chance on the young man. Allen was projected to be our fourth-string receiver during preseason, but a season-ending injury to Malcom Floyd bumped him up on the depth chart. And he most definitely took advantage of the situation.
Allen finished his rookie campaign with 71 receptions (A Chargers rookie record) going for 1,046 yards and 8 Touchdowns. A strong rookie campaign indeed. His sophomore year was a bit of a slump however, finishing with 77 receptions, 783 yards and 4 touchdowns.
2015 was what I predicted to be his Pro Bowl season, he was well on track to do so. Allen was on fire, he just looked unstoppable. His routes were just more refined and crisp, and his ability to breakaway and create separation between the defensive back and himself was outstanding. Keenan was on track to having a career season, and possibly becoming a top 3 receiver in the league. All that came to a screeching halt in Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens, where Allen suffered a lacerated kidney on a magnificent touchdown catch in double coverage. He was done for the year, that was his last play in 2015. And he went out in great fashion, with a touchdown, I couldn’t ask for a better way myself.
“The Slayer” still has something to prove in 2016, he is hungry. The addition of Ken Whisenhunt will definitely help the passing attack, giving Keenan better opportunities to come up with the big play. From what I have seen in camp, he just looks as good as he did last year before the injury. I was able to attend the Chargers vs. Cardinals joint practice yesterday evening, and I saw Allenbeat out the Cardinals first-team secondary for big yards at least four times. He was killing every last one of them, even Patrick Peterson. And the Cards have one of the best defenses in the league. If he plays the same way as he did where he left off, then he will be in for a monster season. Here are some stat projections for the 2016 season:
Keep an eye on KA13 this year, he will be making that Pro Bowl push and will try to establish himself as a top 5 receiver in the league. If he can stay healthy the entire season, this is a huge possibility. Where do you see Allen finishing this year?