Reason #3: Better blocking
The LA Chargers are an interesting case when it comes to their tight ends blocking. Henry was pretty good at blocking earlier in his career, but struggled mightily with it in 2019. This could be for a couple of reasons, one of which is that he is still recovering from that torn ACL he suffered in 2018. Players don’t fully recover for usually another year after that.
Virgil Green is a solid blocker, but he’s not really a good pass catcher. When the Chargers put Green on the field, there’s not much doubt he’s blocking other than the nine or 10 receptions he’ll have every year.
Njoku, as stated earlier, struggles immensely as a blocker. In 2018, Njoku ranked 104th in the league amongst tight ends in pass blocking. In the same year, Clay posted a 76 pass blocking grade, which was 25 points higher than Njoku’s score.
RELATED: Grading the 2020 tight end group
The Chargers could use better blocking from their tight ends, but they’re simply not getting it from Njoku. Maybe he’ll develop in a few years down the line, but I have my doubts about that when he’s already in his fourth season.
While Clay may not be what he used to be as a pass catcher, he’s still highly regarded as a blocker. Frankly, he’d probably be the best blocker on the Chargers if they signed him right now as the second tight end behind Henry.
Njoku is basically a wide receiver trying to play tight end while never actually improving at blocking or drop rate. Clay is an established veteran with good blocking and still good enough production to play second tight end.