Hunter Henry – TE, Arkansas
The Chargers continue to look to the future with the selection of Henry Hunter. This Tight End can do it all, he can block, he can run and he can catch. The concensus top tight end in the draft is pro ready and arrives in an ideal situation in San Diego. He will have a chance to learn from a phenomenal Tight End in Antonio Gates, to eventually succeed him for the Chargers. Very good pick.
A high recruit out of high school, Henry became an impact player for the Razorbacks early as a freshman, and has increased his production all three seasons prior to declaring for the draft after his junior year. In 2015, the star tight end finished with 51 receptions for 739 yards (at 14.5 yards per catch) and 3 touchdowns. Henry has good height for the position including a well-built frame with room to add additional muscle, and has superb athleticism for his size, looking like a wide receiver running his routes. He is an ideal receiving tight end prospect who has everything in his skill set to continue to be at the next level too, and should quickly become a frequent and reliable target for his new quarterback. His receiving prowess and natural hands are summed up by the statistic that Henry didn’t have a single drop the entire 2015 season, bringing in every catchable ball throw his way. He has the ability to play inline, in the slot and even out wide if need be. Some analysts have criticised his effectiveness as a blocker, but I don’t see that. He’s not exactly a standout in that area, but is generally reliable to do his job, and should improve as he continues to grow into his frame and as he continues to be coached up. It’s a lot easier to teach a receiving tight end to block, than it is to coach a blocking tight end to catch, so it’s isn’t something to get overly concerned about regardless, especially when you can see the foundations there to improve. A slight area of concern for someone with his size and ability in the pass game is to see such relatively little production in the end zone. He should be a matchup nightmare in scoring positions, yet in addition to just three touchdowns his final year, he has just nine over the course of his three seasons in college. Again, he has all the traits to do more in this area going forward, but not ideal numbers considering. Overall though, Henry is a complete all-rounder tight end prospect and a worthy first rounder. His outstanding ability as a receiver gives him a chance to become one of the more productive tight ends in the league very quickly. It may not be the greatest of tight end classes overall, but it has a potential star at the top of the list. (Rebecca Rennie)