LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: 5 players who can take home an award in 2021

By Faustino Felix
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
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Asante Samuel Jr.
Los Angeles Chargers Mandatory Minicamp / John McCoy/Getty Images

Asante Samuel Jr., Defensive Rookie of the Year

Fans were thrilled when one of their favorite targets for the second round actually fell to the Chargers' lap. Samuel Jr. is a versatile defensive back who plays tough and physical. Those are tools that make him an undesirable matchup for any receiver, and that might help him play well in his rookie year as he develops the other facets on his game.

It's historically tough for a rookie outside the first round to win DROY honors, as only Darius Leonard, a fellow second-rounder, has done it in the last 14 seasons.

However, Samuel Jr.'s combination of talent and a premier landing spot that fuses ample opportunity with a defensive-minded coaching staff might help him overcome the other candidates in a draft class without a clear top player.

Samuel Jr. is likely thrilled to learn from Staley, a defensive genius. It will also help that his defensive coordinator, Renaldo Hill, did a great job developing defensive backs for the Denver Broncos in the same defensive scheme the Chargers will run.

Players Samuel Jr. will need to get the edge over include other talented rookies picked ahead of him, such as Patrick Surtain II, Micah Parsons, Kwity Page, and others. Can he manage it and follow the footsteps of Joey Bosa, Shawne Merriman and Leslie O'Neal to become the fourth Charger to win the prestigious award?