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SAN DIEGO – The Chargers may have found an ideal protégé for Antonio Gates.
San Diego’s fourth-round selection, Louisiana-Lafayette tight end Ladarius Green, caught 91 passes for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns the last two seasons.
At 6-foot-5 ¾, 238 pounds, the Chargers recorded Green’s 40-yard dash as 4.45 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he showed a vertical leap of nearly 35 inches. He’s lined up in the slot and opposing teams often have viewed him as another receiver.
Now Green will get to play for a franchise that’s produced Kellen Winslow and Gates.
With Head Coach Norv Turner’s downfield passing game, quarterback Philip Rivers and a chance to learn from veterans Gates and Randy McMichael, San Diego makes for an appealing landing spot.
“I think it’s an honor and a dream come true,” Green said. “I know they have great tight ends and I’m just ready to go there and work.”
Green made five catches for 121 yards against San Diego State in the R L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
With young, elite athletes with enormous bodies like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley and Aaron Hernandez thriving in the NFL as pass-catching tight ends, Green believes he’s entering the league during a golden era.
“It’s just a great time to be a tight end right now,” Green said. “Every pass that comes in, I try to catch it. I feel like I can jump over anybody.”
Green, lean for his height, isn’t known for his blocking, but has made a concerted effort to improve.
“I’ve been putting a lot of work in blocking, trying to get bigger, trying to put on size, working on footwork, working on technique,” he said. “That’s something I hope to get better at with the Chargers.” Read