In 2020, the Chargers had a very disappointing season, finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs. One of the few positives from last season was the emergence of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who stepped into the starting role and won Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Herbert’s breakout season was rare, especially at his position. That said, teams usually have one or two players on each side of the ball that exceed expectations. Let’s examine three Chargers that could breakout in the 2021 campaign.
After being drafted 23rd overall by the Chargers in the 2020 draft, Murray started all 16 games as the middle linebacker. Over that span, Murray racked up 68 solo tackles, five tackles for loss, and played 93 percent of all defensive snaps. While those numbers are impressive, Murray has the potential to become one of the top linebackers in the league in only his second season. Devin White is a great example of a linebacker taking the leap into stardom in his second season. Let’s see if Murray can continue the trend.
Guyton went undrafted in 2019 and had a brief stint with the Dallas Cowboys, before finding his home in Los Angeles. With blazing speed and solid route running, the North Texas product was very involved in the Chargers’ offense last season. Guyton had 28 catches for 511 yards and three touchdowns, two of them going for more than 70 yards. Only starting nine games in 2020, Guyton should see the field much more in 2021 and will build a stronger connection with Herbert through the air. The Chargers’ pass-heavy offense and tendency to be thin at the receiver position builds a strong case for a Guyton breakout season.
After moving on from Pro-Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward, Campbell finds himself in a great position to take over the starting cornerback role for the Chargers. In his rookie season, Campbell only started in four games but contributed 18 tackles, one interception returned for a touchdown, and one forced fumble. At 6’0”, 200 pounds, Campbell is much bigger than the average cornerback. If he can improve his coverage skills and beat out rookie Asante Samuel Jr, Campbell can have a dominant breakout season and help the Chargers establish a top defensive unit in the league.
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