A pair of Chargers rookies were recognized Tuesday following standout debut seasons.
Outside linebacker Tuil Tuipulotu and punt returner Derius Davis were selected to the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA)'s 2023 All-Rookie team. The Bolts were one of seven teams in the NFL to have multiple players voted onto the list that was made of 27 rookies from 17 teams.
Tuipulotu, the Chargers second-round pick, was relied upon heavily in his rookie year as injuries struck the Bolts defense.
And the rookie delivered, playing in all 17 games (11 starts) and logging the seventh-most defensive snaps on the Bolts.
The 54th overall pick notched 4.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and 12 quarterback hits in his rookie season. He was also second among rookie edge rushers with 51 total pressures according to Pro Football Focus.
Tuipulotu was impressive rushing the passer as a rookie, but he also shined as a run defender in his first year.
He would finish the regular season with 37 tackles on run plays and 29 run stops according to PFF, both of which led all rookie edge rushers.
"I think I exceeded my expectations, but I didn't play as well as I could've played," Tuipulotu said about his rookie season in early January. "I didn't think I was going to play as much this year than I have, but I also think I could've played way better than what I put out this year."
For Davis, the accolades continue to roll in after a stellar rookie season returning punts.
The Chargers fourth-round pick was also named AP Second-Team All-Pro and an All-Pro Punt Returner in the NFLPA's Players' All-Pro Team earlier in the month after his explosive debut campaign.
He returned 24 punts for 385 yards, good for second-most in the NFL and ranked first among qualified leaders with an average of 16.0 yards per punt return.
Davis would go on to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time in his career following his performance in Week 9 where he weaved his way through the Jets punt coverage unit for a return touchdown.
He became the first Chargers returner to win the accolade since 2018 and was the first Bolts rookie returner to be recognized with the award since 2000.
"Like I said, I give credit to those guys out there blocking for me because I feel like my job is the easiest job," Davis said about his rookie season earlier in the month. "The hardest job is just to go out there and block for that long. I give credit to those guys."
To view PFWA's 2023 All-Rookie Team, click here.
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