Chargers History

LA Chargers: 5 best rookie seasons in Chargers’ history

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 13: Free safety Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after the Chargers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28 to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 13: Free safety Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after the Chargers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28 to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The LA Chargers have had some great rookie performances.

The LA Chargers have some exciting rookies in 2020. Although sixth overall pick Justin Herbert likely won’t play, barring an injury or poor performance from Tyrod Taylor, the team still has some exciting rookies.

Linebacker Kenneth Murray should be a candidate for the Defensive Rookie of the Year, running back Joshua Kelley adds another weapon on offense and both Joe Reed and K.J. Hill will make a difference in the passing attack.

Can any of these players have a record-setting rookie season for the Bolts? Anything could happen. To see just how good they would need to play, we decided to bring you the five best rookie seasons in LA Chargers’ history.

5. John Jefferson, 1978

John Jefferson was a Pro Bowler in his rookie season after being selected with the 14th overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Chargers. Jefferson also had the benefit of coming into the league with Hall of Famer Dan Fouts at quarterback in the infamous “Air Coryell” offense.

Jefferson played in 14 of 16 games in his rookie season, making 56 receptions for 1,001 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. Jefferson was similar to Mike Williams in that he was the team’s primary deep target in a vertical passing attack.

Jefferson went on to build on his fantastic rookie season with two All-Pro seasons with the Chargers. After just three years with the Bolts, though, the Chargers were forced to trade him because of contract disputes.

Jefferson played for the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns after his three-year stint with the Chargers but was never the same player. He had one more Pro Bowl season in the shortened 1982 season and never eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards again.

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