Chargers’ Keenan Allen is one of the top receivers in the NFL, but does he get enough attention as one of the league’s best?
Chargers fans know how good wide receiver Keenan Allen is.
Since being drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Allen has quickly developed into a great receiver. From setting franchise records as a rookie, to overcoming a serious injury in 2016 and turning in back-to-back 1,000-plus yard, 90-plus catch and six touchdown seasons, Allen has made a name for himself.
However, does Allen deserve more recognition?
Pro Football Focus’ Austin Gayle recently wrote about how Allen is overlooked as one of the top wideouts in the game, discussing Allen’s dominance as a route runner, his positional versatility and his numbers in critical situations. According to Gayle, Allen’s two-year receiving grade ranks fourth among the 84 receivers with at least 100 targets since 2017.
Keenan Allen is so damn good.
He just moves differently — at the LOS, top of the route, after the catch, really doesn't matter. pic.twitter.com/C9UuwCfLEK
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) May 24, 2019
Receivers will rack up numbers when the quarterback frequently looks his way, but the difference is Allen makes catches. He ranked seventh and fourth in catch percentage among receivers with a minimum of 100 targets in 2017 and 2018, respectively, per Pro Football Reference.
The 27-year-old Allen may not be the biggest or fastest, but he’s proven to be a game-changing No. 1 receiver.
The Chargers have had two losing seasons (2015-16) since Allen was drafted. Those are the two seasons Allen was hampered by injuries, missing a total of 26 games during that two-year span. His absence was the sole reason the Chargers struggled, but his presence as a No. 1 receiver should not be taken for granted.
Everyone talks about Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Thomas as being the best of the best, with Allen often overlooked. But as a dominant route-runner, consistent producer, and clutch performer in big games, Allen truly deserves to be mentioned with that same elite group.