San Diego,CA- San Diego Chargers Rookie Wide-Receiver Keenan Allen has been named Pepsi NEXT Rookie of the Year at the NFL Honors awards Saturday night.
Allen carried the Chargers offense in the Chargers 24-17 loss to the Broncos in the AFC Divisional Round and was the key reason why the Chargers had a chance late in the 4th quarter to tie the game. Allen had six receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Both his touchdowns coming in the 4th quarter when the Chargers needed them most. Allen also became the first rookie with 100+ receiving yards and 2 TD receptions in a playoff game since Willie Green in 1992. Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy was named offensive Rookie of the Year and New York Jets DT Sheldon Richardson was named defensive Rookie of the Year at the NFL Honors.
Allen was the most deserving of all offensive rookies for this award. Allen has been absolutely dynamic for the Chargers on offense this season and was a key reason why the Chargers were able to go 9-7 and make the AFC playoffs as the 6th seed.
Allen who the Chargers drafted in the 3rd round of last Aprils NFL draft, started the season as the Chargers 4th string Wide Receiver behind Danario Alexander, Vincent Brown and Malcom Floyd. That wouldn’t last for long though as when the Chargers lost Danario Alexander for the season to a torn ACL in the preseason and Malcom Floyd for the season with a neck injury in the Chargers’ Week 2 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Allen then became the Chargers number two wide receiver and started the next 14 games for the Chargers and would soon become the favorite target for Chargers Pro Bowl Quarterback Philip Rivers.
Allen set the team record for the most receiving yards by a rookie in a season with 1,046 yards, surpassing John Jefferson’s record of 1,001 yards set in 1978. Allen also became the first rookie in the NFL since Cincinnati Bengals A.J. Green in 2011 to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season. Allen also tied Eddie Royal for the team lead with eight touchdown receptions on the year.
Allen was nominated for Pepsi’s NEXT Rookie of the Week award four times this season and won the award all four times.