3. Austin Ekeler
I give Austin Ekeler the third-best chance to be an All-Pro for the first time over another notable name that you are thinking of and the reason is simple: the offensive scheme that the Chargers are adopting is going to be massive for his production.
Ekeler has still not had a full season as the RB1 as he was injured last season. In the games he did play he was fantastic and the new offensive scheme is only going to help his production more. As long as he plays 16 games, I really like his chances to be an All-Pro running back.
The Chargers hired former New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi to be the team’s offensive coordinator. With other offensive minds in the building, the Chargers’ offensive scheme next season has been described as a blend of Kyle Shanahan’s running game with Sean Payton’s passing game.
Having the power run scheme is going to help Ekeler find new limits as a ball-carrier that he not yet found, especially with the best offensive line that he has had in his career with the Chargers. More importantly, the offensive scheme is going to maximize Ekeler as a passing target.
Look at how often the Saints utilize Alvin Kamara in the passing game. Granted, Drew Brees could not throw a long ball the last few years there in New Orleans, but there are so many plays designed for Kamara. Kamara is an elite running back but I would not say he is leaps and bounds better than Ekeler.
In fact, when it comes to pure route running, Ekeler is the better option.
Ekeler is going to be such a huge cog in this offense and with no running back behind him really standing out as a true RB2, he should get plenty of playing time and plenty of yards to go with it.