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Recapping 2013: The Wide Receivers
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Leading the way was third-round pick Keenan Allen, who emerged as a legit threat to take home the Rookie of the Year award. Allen set Chargers rookie records with 1,046 yards and 71 catches. He also led all NFL rookies in receptions, yards and touchdown catches (eight). Allen became the first rookie to top the 1,000-yard plateau since A.J. Green in 2011 and was also just the fifth since 2000 to do so. The 21-year old was recognized repeatedly for his outstanding efforts and was voted the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week four times. Allen also delivered on the big stage of the NFL playoffs. In two games he recorded eight catches for 163 yards with two touchdowns.
In his sixth season and second with the Bolts, Eddie Royal had a career year. He set a new personal high and tied for the team lead with eight touchdown receptions on 47 catches, giving him a TD for every 5.9 catches. That tied for the sixth best ratio in the league in 2013. Royal’s 47 receptions were good for 631 yards, and he also chipped in on the ground with three rushes for 21 yards. Royal’s best game came in a Week 2 win when he posted three touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles. In the playoffs, he had two catches for 63 yards, averaging 31.5 yards per completion.
After missing all of 2012 with a broken ankle suffered in the preseason, Vincent Brown rebounded to play in all 16 games for the Bolts. The San Diego State product had 41 receptions for 472 yards and one touchdown. He had a memorable diving touchdown opening night against the Houston Texans, and in Week 5, he corralled a deep 51-yard bomb in a primetime tilt against the Oakland Raiders.
Seyi Ajirotutu had only three catches on the season, but he made arguably the biggest reception for the Chargers this year. Trailing by four points with less than 30 seconds to go in Kansas City, Ajirotutu had a diving 26-yard touchdown catch down the left sideline to lift San Diego to a 41-38 victory over the Chiefs.
Signed in the middle of the season, Lavelle Hawkins saw limited time on the field. When active he was the primary kickoff returner, averaging 22.0 yards per return on eight attempts in four games.