The NFL finally dropped their first batch of players for this years Top-100 #(100-#41) and the Chargers landed three players within the range of #60-#51.
Those players were center Corey Linsley at #60, quarterback Justin Herbert making his Top-100 debut at #56, and receiver Keenan Allen at #55.
Here’s what NFL.com had to say about each player and their ranking along with my thoughts:
#60 - C Corey Linsley
“A first-time All-Pro selection in 2020, Linsley elevated his level of play in his last season with Green Bay. The oft-underrated center allowed one sack and was penalized zero times in 734 snaps over 13 starts, per Pro Football Focus. Now an anchor on the Chargers’ O-line, Linsley has exceeded expectations since entering the NFL as a fifth-round pick in 2014. His breakout campaign certainly warranted the mega deal he received from L.A., as well as this debut spot on the Top 100.”
Offensive lineman usually don’t get a ton of praise within the Top-100 so this is a welcomed sight for Linsley. Jason Kelce is ranked behind him which means there’s a chance he’s the highest-ranked player at his position this year which come as no surprise to 2020’s First-Team All-Pro at the pivot.
Being able to pair Herbert with a center of this caliber so early on his career is going to pay huge dividends in the long run. We won’t see them work together until they take the field for week one, but fans absolutely cannot wait to see how his addition improves the front five this season.
#56 - QB Justin Herbert
“From the moment Herbert — the No. 6 overall pick in last year’s draft — debuted in Week 2, it was clear he had a chance to be the man. That became common knowledge by the end of a historic, AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year-winning campaign. Those six months the Chargers had to endure without a clear franchise QB must’ve been so excruciating. They would likely do it over 100 times out of 100, though, if it meant landing the exciting gunslinger.”
Is anyone surprised? I certainly am not.
Herbert makes his debut on the Top-100 following his incredible rookie season but unfortunately, the players voted Justin Jefferson — last year’s runner-up for Offensive Rookie of the Year — ahead of him. At the end of the day only one of them has the hardware, however.
I expect Herbert to be a mainstay on the Top-100 for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t just come easily. He’ll need to play up to expectations year after year. However, I have an inkling that won’t be too hard for him under this coaching staff.
#55 - WR Keenan Allen
“Up next is the perennially underrated Allen, who turned in another Pro Bowl-caliber year while helping to make Herbert’s Year 1 a smooth one. Although he fell eight yards shy of a fourth-straight 1,000-yard season, Allen was one of six wideouts to haul in at least 100 receptions. He also scored eight TDs — the most he’s had since his rookie season — and made a little history in Week 14 when he set the record for the most receptions by a player (623) in his first 100 games. It’s worth noting that his season totals, as well as the 22-spot leap he took from last year, could’ve potentially been higher had the veteran not missed two games.”
Aside from Joey Bosa, Allen has been the most consistent member of the Chargers to grace the NFL’s Top-100 over the years. He’s a walking 100-catch, 1,000-yard season waiting to happen. If it wasn’t for unusually- nagging injuries in 2020, he would have had his fourth-straight season notching both marks. Now with Staley’s staff emphasizing health and availability more than ever, I don’t expect Allen to have any repeat bumps and bruises this season. A career year is truly in the cards for the Slayer this season.