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Recapping 2013: The Rookies
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Leading the way was third round pick Keenan Allen, who was voted the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Year by fans nationwide. The dynamic 21-year old set team rookie records with 1,046 yards and 71 catches while leading all NFL rookies in receptions, yards and touchdown catches (eight). Allen became the first rookie to top the 1,000-yard plateau since 2011 and was only the fifth since 2000 to reach that mark. He was recognized repeatedly for his outstanding efforts and was voted the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week four times. In two postseason games, Allen notched eight catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
D.J. Fluker, the Bolts’ first round pick in 2013 also had a standout season, appearing in and starting 17 games. A 6-6, 339-pound mountain of a man, “Fluke” was a bulldozer opening up running lanes and excellent in pass protection as well. He was also a team player, moving over to play left tackle for five games even though he hadn’t played that position since high school. Fluker earned Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week honors in a Week 7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars when he first took snaps protecting the blindside.
General Manager Tom Telesco traded up to select Manti Te’o in the second round, and number 50 flashed playmaking ability. He injured his foot early in the first preseason game and didn’t return for seven weeks before suiting up in Week 4. It took time for Te’o to get his feet under him, but he still had a solid season. Te’o ranked third on the team in tackles with 93 to go along with five tackles for a loss, four passes defensed and two quarterback hits. His best game came in the regular season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs when he tallied a career-high 10 tackles in the win.
Tourek Williams was selected in the sixth round. While he saw limited action, he did have a number of highlight reel plays. Most notable was a strip-sack of Peyton Manning on Nov. 10. Overall, Williams posted 11 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.
Quarterback Brad Sorensen was picked by the Chargers with their seventh-round draft choice. While he was inactive all season, he had an impressive preseason, completing 24-of-45 passes (53.3%) for 272 yards and two touchdowns and a passer rating of 68.0.
Jahleel Addae had a big impact for the Bolts after being signed as an undrafted free agent. The hard-hitting Central Michigan product saw his playing time drastically increase as the season wore on. The safety recorded 32 tackles, two passes defensed, one sack and one tackle for loss. He had two of the biggest defensive moments in the postseason when he recovered a fumble in the Wild Card win over the Bengals and then forced one in Denver.
Another undrafted free agent was Kwame Geathers. The defensive tackle finished with three tackles in seven games. Finally, fifth round pick Steve Williams missed the entire season with a pectoral injury suffered in the preseason.