Chargers' dream rookie tight end named a surprise cut candidate

The Chargers need serious tight end help, after all.

Los Angeles Chargers v San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Chargers v San Francisco 49ers / Loren Elliott/GettyImages

There have been a lot of takeaways to digest for the LA Chargers from the preseason and training camp action. Perhaps the biggest takeaway that fans have clung to is the lack of depth at the tight end position and the concern that it is the weak point of the entire roster.

Granted, fans did not see starter Gerald Everett out there at all in the preseason but the depth options behind him did not look great. Donald Parham and Tre' McKitty struggled. Stone Smartt played well to put his name in the hat for a roster spot, but even he comes with his limitations.

That is why the tight end position is one to monitor as the rest of the league makes roster cuts to get down to 53 players. There could be talented options that become available, including recently-drafted players who seemingly made sense for the Chargers back in April as well.

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus put together their shocking trade and cut candidates ahead of Tuesday's mass exodus and there is a very interesting name that Chargers fans may be familiar with: Zack Kuntz.

"It’s not necessarily a surprise when a seventh-round pick rookie doesn’t make the initial 53-man roster, especially on a team like the New York Jets who are all in on chasing a Super Bowl ring in 2023 and will concern themselves less with developmental projects. However, Kuntz may have gone as late as he did in part because of how loaded the tight end position was in the 2023 NFL Draft.

At Jets camp, Kuntz stood out as being far skinnier than the rest of the position group, particularly in his lower half. Nathaniel Hackett’s offense will ask its tight ends to block quite a bit, and that doesn’t appear to be Kuntz's forte by any means. "

Zack Kuntz would be a dream addition for the LA Chargers

If the New York Jets do decide to part ways with Kuntz then the Chargers should be one of the first teams attempting to put a waiver claim in on him. Kuntz has legitimate upside and could be developed into something special with the right coaching in LA.

Kuntz isn't going to come to the Chargers and completely reinvent the room. His blocking definitely could use work and as a depth tight end that could limit his snap counts. However, this allows the Chargers to focus on McKitty truly only playing in blocking roles, allowing Kuntz to take the small number of offensive snaps that McKitty otherwise would have gotten.

The six-foot-eight tight end was one of the best athletes in the entire draft process, earning a perfect 10 Relative Athletic Score. With there being some concerns about Parham potentially having limitations, adding a freak athlete like Kuntz would be great insurance for red-zone situations.

Plus, the future of the tight-end room is completely up in the air for the Bolts. Everett is a free agent after this season and neither Parham nor McKitty have shown they can be a TE1. Adding a young rookie with potential will at least give the Chargers some option for the future, even if it is not guaranteed to work.