General Manager Tom Telesco broke his streak of taking linebackers in the second round of the NFL Draft when the San Diego Chargers selected Hunter Henry from Arkansas. The 6-5, 253-pound tight end was regarded by many as the top prospect at his position as he catches passes and blocks, the latter, he learned from his father.
"My dad was an offensive lineman and played offensive line at Arkansas," Henry said. "I've always kind of grown up with that mentality and my dad and that toughness side of things. (I like) just being tough, and being down in the trenches because that's what he did day in and day out."
The reigning John Mackey Award Winner, given to the top collegiate FBS tight end, started all 13 games last season for the Razorbacks notching 739 yards and three touchdowns. In addition, he was a consensus first-team All-American and led all FBS tight ends with 36 first down receptions and 21 plays of 15 or more yards.
One of the things Henry is most looking forward to as a Charger is learning from future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates. Just like number 85, Henry was a former basketball player before making the transition to football full-time.
"It's an honor," he said. "It's awesome to watch a guy I grew up watching and to be able to be on the same team and the same field with him is going to be an honor. I look forward to it. Growing up, I watched the Chargers quite a lot so just being able to see him throughout his career and the progression he's made and all the success that's come his way, and he's so deserving of it, it's going to be really cool to be able to work with him."
Of all his stats, the one Henry prides himself on the most is the fact that he didn't drop one pass all of his junior season in 2015. He said the stat is attributed to "a lot of catching balls and working on it."
Growing up in Arkansas, the former Razorback is excited to get the chance to come to San Diego, a city he spent time in training for the NFL Combine.
"I was actually out there training for about a month and a half or two months before the Combine. That was my first time ever being out there and I loved the area and look forward to coming back. (San Diego) is awesome. I love the area and loved traveling around to different locations throughout the area. My family loved the area so I'm looking forward to living there."