Photo via Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry might have been a second round pick in 2016, but he performed like a first round selection during his rookie campaign which led to Pro Football Focus’ Brett Whitefield ranking Henry as the top tight end in the NFL under the age of 25.
Despite seeing limited passing down snaps (254) as compared to his counterpart in Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (415), Henry still hauled in 478 receiving yards, eight touchdowns (one more than Gates) en route to posting an impressive 78.7 Pro Football Focus player grade.
The fact Henry accomplished what he did as a rookie is all-the-more impressive when considering how difficult it can be to transition from college to the NFL game as a tight end.
That’s a fact that Whitefield noted before going on to praise Henry for his “great positional flexibility, scoring five touchdowns while running routes out of the slot.”
Henry is quick enough in and out of his breaks that he is able to line up and win in the slot receiver position, while also being too big for smaller corners to hold him on the outside.
He is the type of tight end who will remain a matchup nightmare for opposing teams for many years to come. As such, expect for this to be the first of many honors to come for the second-year tight end.