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Keenan Allen: Greatest Chargers wide receiver ever?

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after a Chargers touchdown against the Detroit Lions at Qualcomm Stadium on September 13, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after a Chargers touchdown against the Detroit Lions at Qualcomm Stadium on September 13, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Can Keenan Allen become the greatest Chargers wide receiver in team history?

Keenan Allen was on a tear to begin the season before the offense inexcusably decided to move away from targeting the NFL’s leading receiver; still, at 44 catches for 564 yards and three touchdowns heading into Week 8, Allen could be on pace for another 100-catch, 1,000-yard season.

So one has to ask: Will Keenan Allen finish his career as the best wide receiver in Chargers history?

Statistically speaking, here’s how No. 13 matches up with the other wide receivers ahead of him:

  • Catches: Third (122 behind Charlie Joiner)
  • Yards: Fifth (3,814 behind Lance Alworth)
  • Touchdowns: 10th (50 behind Alworth)

Allen is currently under contract through the 2020 season, and is a frontrunner to return to the team via extension when the time comes. He will be 29 in 2021, which gives him the chance to land another lucrative deal. As a receiver who relies more on technique and route-running savvy to beat opposing corners, it’s unlikely his production tails off too quickly once he’s in his thirties.

So let’s say he plays out the rest of his contract and adds three more years via extension (as Julio Jones did). That’s about half of 2019, and four more years following.

Now let’s take his per-game average and say he produces as such for all 56 games. He would be looking at:

  • 337 more catches
  • 4,196 more yards
  • 23 more touchdowns

That brings his career numbers up to that point to 801 catches, 9,966 receiving yards, and 54 touchdowns, where the first two categories would put him as the franchise leader.

Next. Chargers Offensive Mount Rushmore

Allen would likely be producing with both Philip Rivers and a new face at quarterback; how the latter affects these stats is unknown at this time. Regardless, even if Allen only puts up half those projected numbers, he should be regarded as one of the best to ever do it for the organization. But if he can continue that pace, he will have the numbers to support him as the best wide receiver in Chargers history.

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