When the San Diego Chargers made tight end Hunter Henry the first from his position to be drafted last season expectations were high. The second-round pick (No. 35 overall) entered the NFL after a stellar career for the University of Arkansas.
Playing alongside veteran and future hall of famer Antonio Gates, Henry flourished. Following a slow start Henry ramped up his performance as the season progressed. For his efforts he was recently ranked as the No. 1 rookie tight end last season.
Top-graded rookie TEs
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 19, 2017
Hunter saw action in all but one game, missing Week 9 due to a knee injury and recorded almost as many touchdowns. Through 15 games Hunter made a catch in all but two, failing to receive a target during those contests.
His biggest game came on the national stage against AFC West rival Denver in Week 6. Hunter recorded six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos’ prevalent pass defense. For the season Hunter caught 36 passes for eight scores, averaging 13.3 yards-per-catch.
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New head coach Anthony Lynn retained offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt who will make the move from San Diego to Los Angeles. The sustained continuity on offense should aid in Henry’s continued development and rapport with quarterback Philip Rivers.
Furthermore, the talented veteran Gates remains under contract for 2017 as both hope to continue their production in Los Angeles. Another season learning from one of the best ever to play the position will be an added bonus. In search of new fans and hoping to make an impact the now second year tight end could develop into a serious weapon for the Chargers offense next season.