Jason Ivester

Chargers draft TE Hunter Henry in 2nd round

The Chargers take a tight end with the 35th overall pick.

The Chargers needed a tight end, and they found one in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft: Arkansas Razorbacks' Hunter Henry.

Henry, at 6-5, 250-pounds, is a pass-catching tight end that's been compared to Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys. In his three-year career with the Razorbacks, Henry caught 116 passes for 1,661 yards and nine touchdowns, becoming one of just eight tight ends in SEC history to reach the triple-digit mark in receptions. He totaled four 100-yard receiving games and holds an 80-percent conversion rate (first downs or touchdowns) on career receptions.

Henry, who was a receiver in high school, did not drop one pass last season.

"For us, he was a first round talent," Telesco said.

While the Chargers re-signed Antonio Gates to a two-year, $12 million contract this past offseason, they need to find players to complement the 14-year veteran and also guard against his eventual absence.

"It's an honor," Henry said, when asked about sharing the field with Gates. "I look forward to it. Just being able to see him throughout his career and the progression he's made, and all the success that's come his way -- he's so deserving of it. It's going to be really cool to be able to work with him."

The 21-year-old was a first-team All-American in 2015 and the second Razorback to win the John Mackey award, given to the most outstanding tight end in college football. He is regarded by scouts as a strong blocker, and didn't allow a sack or quarterback hurry in 2015.

"My dad is an offensive lineman, and he played offensive line at Arkansas, so I've always kind of grown up with that mentality of my dad," Henry said. "Being tough, being down in the trenches ... I really embraced the physical side of things. It's a physical sport. That's what you have to do."

Henry trained at EXOS in Carlsbad prior to the draft.

"I loved the area," he said. "It's awesome."


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