LA Chargers: Looking at tight end options beyond 2020
By Brandon Viera
Tight end option four: Selecting a tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft
The safest bet here could be letting Henry walk or once again using the franchise tag on him next season, and selecting a tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 2021 class seems to have multiple premiere tight ends and using a late first or even second-round pick on one could be the route Tom Telesco may look to go.
Drafting a tight end will give the team a cheap option to replace Henry, whether or not they decide to use the franchise tag on him again. One tight end I particularly like is Pat Freiermuth out of Penn State University.
Freiermuth is a big pass-catcher who also happens to be an excellent blocker, which would be a perfect fit in the LA Chargers’ offense. Other premier tight ends who will be draft-eligible next year are Kyle Pitts, Brevin Jordan, and Matt Bushman.
Finding a stud tight end in the draft could save the Chargers $9 million or more in cap space per year (being compared to a contract that would be offered to Henry), while giving them comparable production to some of the above-average tight ends in the league.
With the extra cap space, they can find players at other positions to fill out the roster from a depth standpoint, put it towards signing those core players that have been previously mentioned, or even signing premier talent at other positions.
Selecting a tight end to replace Hunter Henry in the 2021 NFL Draft could certainly be a decision Tom Telesco and the front office make to try and create a younger but equally talented LA Chargers roster for the future.