We're a little over 2 months away from kickoff. This year, even with all the change this franchise has had, there are some surprisingly lofty expectations. So with expectations comes performance. If the Chargers do indeed play up to what they are capable of they are going to have a few Pro Bowlers on the team. I think we can break these up into 3 different categories. There are the obvious candidates. There are the breakout candidates. Then there are the surprise candidates. The obvious is, well, obvious. The breakouts might have had some type of success for a string of games but have never put it together. The surprises are the ones nobody sees coming. Last year if D.J. Fluker would've made the Pro Bowl, we'd classify that under "surprise", among many other words.
Let's do this. Let's start with the surprises. In this post, we'll only do offense. Defense comes later.
Lamp was going to make one of these lists and since he hasn't played a down it's this one. Last year the Titans right tackle Jack Conklin made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. This year it's Lamps turn. While he wasn't a top pick like Conklin he's just as talented in my opinion. Lamp has a shot to be the Chargers best offensive lineman by the year's end. I think he'll play well either way, but if he can keep a number of sacks he's given up low, he has a shot to surprise and make the Pro Bowl. It'll also help if the offense is putting up gaudy numbers.
The only reason he's not on a breakout list is that if you don't play fantasy football there's a good chance you don't know who Hunter Henry is. When you think Tight End and Chargers many think of that other guy. Hell, I still triple check to see if Henry had 8 touchdowns last year. Let's say this year he's in a more consistent role and Antonio Gates is relegated to 3rd downs/red area(where he should be.) If Henry plays more, he might not have the scores but he'll have the numbers.
Last year Delanie Walker and Travis Kelce made the Pro Bowl. Kelce isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But the Titans added a bunch of skill players so Walkers numbers should regress. I'll believe Gronk stays healthy when I see it. I'm not saying Henry is the next best tight end but he could surprise.
After his play last year, this is the surprise of all surprises. Benjamin played with zero confidence and it showed. He lacked aggression. He just seemed to be going through the motions aside from a route here and there. It was painful. Let's say the demeanor of the new head coach changes that. Let's say a role is carved out for Benjamin that he can stay along the sideline but benefits from everyone around him. By being the beneficiary of this Benjamin becomes a deep threat but actually capitalizes on his opportunities.
A year later he's the punt returner he was in Cleveland and that extra value earns him a surprise spot in the Pro Bowl.
Who would you say? Who are your 3 surprise potential Pro Bowlers on offense?