The next Antonio Gates: Gates-Version 2.0


Antonio Gates is arguably the best undrafted free agent to come into the NFL ever. In 2003, the Chargers signed him on a long shot considering that he had not played football since high school. Since the day the Chargers brought Antonio Gates into the league, teams have been dreading playing against him. For those that don’t know, Antonio Gates did not spend his college career on the field. He spent his entire college career not in football, but in basketball. He played for Kent State University and had no focus on playing football any longer. It was not until Antonio Gates was informed that even though he was good at basketball, he would most likely not succeed in the NBA due to his 6’4″ height. So what do you do if you’re an all star stud athlete and realize that your main sport is not realistic? You turn to plan B! Gates held workouts for 19 NFL teams and worked his tail off to impress. Finally one team took the long shot. The San Diego Chargers.

Teams have been envious of this since 2003 and opposing defenses dread facing him. He has the uncanny ability to leap into the air and use his boxing out technique and rebounding abilities to haul in passes from all across the field! It must seem like a pip-squeak show sometimes when facing 6’0″ players instead of his usual 6’6″ and up opponents on the court. So what do we do to keep the trend going in San Diego?

Jordan Cameron, the Tight End coming out of Southern Cal looks to fit the role quite nicely. And would you believe that he too spent his early college years as a basketball player? As a basketball player he was then offered a scholarship to place Wide Receiver for USC and then eventually moved to tight end. He has a great build, with crazy speed, sure hands, and could leap right out of Qualcomm if he wanted to. Cameron is listed as the 8th best at the position based on ESPN rankings and should be there in later rounds to swoop up. At the 2011 NFL scouting combine, Cameron impressed with a 4.58 40 yard dash time and a 37.5 inch vertical leap. Now keep in mind that this kid is just over 6’5″ and 245 lbs!! He could definitely stack a little more weight onto his frame, but I think a late round gamble could pay off big. I say bring him in and let him mentor under Gates. If there is one person who can relate to him, it would be the other guy who played college basketball before entering the league as a Tight End.

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