2. Hunter Henry’s subpar blocking
Henry has weirdly gotten worse as a blocker in each year he’s played. In his rookie year, he scored a 79 in pass blocking, followed by a sophomore season grade of 68.9 (per Pro Football Focus). At that point, he was still well above average.
In 2019 though, Henry was pretty bad. I’ll even take out the 56.5 pass-blocking grade due to having only 14 snaps as a pass blocker. He had 182 snaps as a run blocker and scored a 56.8, which is still well, well below average.
No matter which way they’re sliced, the blocking numbers last year are really bad. It’s believable to me that the LA Chargers didn’t want to use Henry as a pass blocker much due to injury risk, but that makes me honestly feel worse about the franchise potentially giving him a big contract.
Perhaps he’ll be better in the second season after the ACL tear, as that’s an injury that takes two years to recover from, but he’s got to show a lot more there.
The run blocking grade is much worse to me due to the significant amount of snaps. To mention some of the players who just got those big deals, Kittle was top five as a run blocker with a 74.4 grade. Kelce had a 60+ grade as a run blocker and had a 76.6 pass-blocking grade.
Not every tight end has to be an elite blocker, but I’m hesitant to give money to a tight end who presents a significant blocking problem.
Becoming a better blocker almost goes hand in hand with being able to stay on the field. The Chargers are hesitant to use Henry as a blocker due to injury risk, and that has to change if he wants a long term extension.