Today’s roundtable was a simple question that could be a number of players. Who was the most improved player on the Chargers this year?
Jason Michaels: I think that Keenan Allen is the most improved this year. He went from a pretty good, dependable talent to the arguable lynchpin of the entire offense. He opened up the game so that Rivers and even Gordon could do what they do
International Jamie: Trevor Williams. He went from not looking like getting a spot on the 53 to becoming one of the better CBs in the league. Pretty sure my original roster projection had guys like Trovon Reed and Craig Mager making it over him. He came through in a big way this year.
Ryan Doyle: Trevor Williams was most improved. Williams was on the outside looking in during training camp. He snagged one of the last spots and managed to become a reliable number two cornerback. In just one year, Williams went from an emergency option to being penciled in as a starter. He’s only 24 and should have even more room to grow.
Garrett: Trevor Williams is the right answer but I think Kenny Wiggins deserves a little love too. In camp, I balked at the idea of even having Wiggins compete with Forrest Lamp at Guard. Then when Lamp went down I thought they should’ve just handed that spot to Dan Feeney. Well, Wiggins went from a possible cut at 53s to a dependable starter. The first third of the season Wiggins was the 2nd best lineman on the field, he struggled at the end of the year but the progression from last year to this year was more than anyone could’ve anticipated. Kenny Wiggins has to be up there in the most improved player conversation.
Nathan: Wiggins and Williams are clearly great choices, though I’ll go a different route with Darius Philon. This is one Telesco pick I loved at the time due to the fact that he was a young, talented guy definitely worth a sixth-rounder. He has developed to the point where he was arguably the third-best DL on the team this year, and he will be an inexpensive yet important cog as he moves forward into his prime.
Michael Peterson: My pick would be Trevor Williams. Guy basically came out of nowhere to be a very underrated cornerback this year. I believe his season PFF grade was around an 84 which is phenomenal for a 2nd year UDFA. After all the Verrett drama, Williams showing out makes dealing with that scenario much easier.
Ruben: Thru the first 12 games or so, I would have to say, Supa Melvin. Dude was playing out of his mind and was the Melvin Ingram that all Chargers fans had always hoped he would be. Usually, after receiving a big contract, we Chargers fans have come to expect a flop, but Supa Melvin started the season like he was on steroids. His final numbers are not superbly special, but his presence on the field was unquestioned.
Louis Gorini: I’ll say Darius Philon. I thought Philon was going to be Ryan Carrethers 2.0. A player with good “physical gifts” and a high ceiling but never find himself onto the field but this year he surprised me. Philon flashed a disruptive ability and was the reason Liuget was able to stay fresh and semi-productive. Philon grew a lot this year, from a fringe roster player to a player with a 75.1 PFF Grade (which is average). Hopefully, he keeps this upward ascension.
Jamie: I’d say it comes down to Trevor Williams and Darius Philon, but I’ll go with Williams. Few people gave him much of a chance to even make this team and he proved he was not only worthy of a roster spot but put together a borderline pro bowl season in Jason Verrett’s absence. Now he’s a restricted free agent and the team has a decision to make - whether or not to simply extend an early round tender (an argument could be made for a first-round tender), or gamble with a longer-term deal. One way or another, he’s getting paid.
Who do you think the most improved player was for the Chargers this season?