The Los Angeles Chargers are transitioning this off-season to a new coaching regime, but on the plus side they do have their franchise quarterback in place – and Tom Telesco helped ensure he’s protected. There’s plenty of skilled players on the roster as well, including a couple of perennial Pro Bowlers. There are some other potential ones as well, though it may depend on how well the team as a whole does – after all, Pro Bowl voting at the end of the day is a popularity contest, and while some players can become popular enough to get in often despite their team losing, it gets easier if you’re a winning/playoff team. With that said, let’s look at the most likely candidates to get selected to the Pro Bowl for the Chargers.
Five Most Likely Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowl Candidates
We will start with the two aforementioned players who have become essentially perennial Pro Bowlers on the team. The first is defensive end Joey Bosa, who has been terrorizing quarterbacks since he first came into the league. In his five years, he’s only missed the Pro Bowl twice – once in his rookie year (and he still was Defensive Rookie of the Year), and once in 2018 when he missed half the season.
Last off-season he signed a five-year, $135 million contract to keep him with the Chargers for the foreseeable future. It’s not hard to see why – he’s been the most stable piece on the Chargers defense lately. He’s gotten at least 10 sacks three out of five years and has 47.5 sacks in total. Bosa is one of the rare players where – so long as he stays healthy – is virtually a shoo-in for the Pro Bowl most years, regardless of how well his team does in the win-loss column.
Allen is the second player on this team that has become a perennial Pro Bowler, and also currently the longest-tenured player on the Chargers, having been around since 2013. Yet it wasn’t until 2017 that he reached the status that he currently has – despite a great rookie year, he struggled with injuries for a couple of years to the point where it seemed like he was one more season-ending injury from his career being over.
But he’s put together four great seasons in a row since 2017 and has made every Pro Bowl in that time. This includes three seasons with 100 or more receptions and a total of 4,780 receiving yards during this time period. He’s turned into a top ten receiver, and with Herbert throwing to him, he should be able to keep his production going, especially since he’s already become Herbert’s favorite target.
Whether Herbert makes the Pro Bowl may be a little more win-dependent. But if he does notably better than his already-stellar rookie year, he might just get the nod anyway. He broke almost all the rookie quarterback records in his first season with 31 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and 4,336 passing yards as well as five rushing touchdowns. He already seems further along in his development than most quarterbacks after their first year and seems quite capable of becoming one of the league’s best quarterbacks if he continues to improve. Regardless of all that, if the Chargers make the playoffs and Herbert’s a big part of why, he will almost certainly be in the Pro Bowl.
Like Keenan Allen, Derwin James is a player who had a stellar rookie season but has struggled heavily to stay healthy since. But considering that he was an All-Pro in only his rookie year, it’s pretty fair to assume that if he stays healthy (finally) in 2021, he’ll be making his way to the Pro Bowl. It helps that although he’s a safety, he can play almost anywhere on the defensive side of the ball. In that sense, he means more to the defense than Bosa does, though Bosa has been more able to reliably stay on the field.
The biggest Chargers non-Draft addition of the off-season was center Corey Linsley, formerly of the Green Bay Packers. Coming off an All-Pro season was enough to net him a five-year, $62 million deal, making him the highest-paid center in the league. If he stays healthy and keeps up the kind of play he had last year, then he has as good a chance as anybody else to make the Pro Bowl.
Embed from Getty Images