Which rookie could be surprise gem for Chargers in 2021?

·2 min read

While expectations are set high for the Chargers’ early-round picks, there could be someone from the mid- late-rounds that ends up surprising in their rookie season.

Based on talent, upside, the right fit and a legitimate opportunity, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox listed a first-year player who could end up being a surprise gem for each team in the league.

For Los Angeles, Knox listed third-round pick, tight end Tre’ McKitty as the team’s rookie who could surpass expectations.

The selection of McKitty was largely a traits-based pick, as he only had six receptions for 108 yards in 2020. However, McKitty is a 6’4″, 246-pound pass-catcher with 4.71 speed. Raw and unpolished as a route-runner, McKitty will be a rotational player early in his career. However, he can be a physical mismatch with big-play potential.

Expect McKitty to come on slowly as a rookie but develop into the type of vertical-threat tight end whom Los Angeles lost in Henry.

McKitty was drafted for his blocking skills, where he will have a role is an in-line blocker right off the bat. However, he has true potential to make an impact through the air than most realize.

He has the athleticism, ability to separate at the top of routes, a frame and great hands to reel in everything thrown his way along with impressive power and contact balance to gain yards after the catch.

For Georgia in 2020, McKitty only posted six receptions in four games, which marked a career-low. Before transferring, McKitty had 50 catches in three seasons at Florida State.

It might not be from the get-go that he gets pass-catching snaps since Jared Cook and Donald Parham are ahead of him on the depth chart, but don’t be surprised if McKitty carves up a role sooner than later.

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