The 10 most important players on the Los Angeles Chargers
1. RB Melvin Gordon (40 points)
2. DE Joey Bosa (39)
3. OT Russell Okung (37)
4. WR Keenan Allen (32)
5. DE Melvin Ingram (26)
6. CB Jason Verrett (23)
7. WR Mike Williams (13)
8. CB Casey Hayward (11)
9. TE Antonio Gates (nine)
10. LB Denzel Perryman (eight)
Is this an upset? Bosa was dominant last season en route to Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, but Gordon’s turnaround from 2015 to ’16 did not go unnoticed—he ranked as high as No. 2 on a pair of boards, and in the top five on all. Bosa nabbed three first-place votes (Baskin, Burke, Single).
Two first-place votes left after that. One went to Jason Verrett (Klemko), the other to Keenan Allen (Marston). Allen finished 19 points ahead of ballyhooed rookie receiver Mike Williams, who climbed into a No. 3 spot (Baskin) but also fell off two ballots.
Chris Burke defends his second-place vote for Melvin Gordon: This boils down to the omnipresent issue with the Chargers for years: Philip Rivers cannot do it alone. Gordon bounced back with a solid 2016, and he needs to be a 1,000-plus-yard back for this offense to hum.
Other Chargers receiving votes: S Dwight Lowery, OT Joe Barksdale (seven); G Kenny Wiggins (six); C Spencer Pulley (five); LB Jatavis Brown, LB Kyle Emanuel (four); TE Hunter Henry (two); OL Forrest Lamp (one)