Because of that, during April’s NFL Draft, the Chargers selected the guy who they hope is the heir apparent to Gates at the tight end position: Ladarius Green of Louisiana-Lafayette.
The first thing you’ll notice about Green is his height. He stands nearly 6’7 and uses every inch of it to his advantage on the field.
He’s is a little slow off the ball, however, possesses elite top speed (4.53 in the 40) and makes up for it with his hands when the ball comes his way. He rarely drops a pass.
Despite his size, he excels as a blocker, both on the line of scrimmage and downfield.
Philip Rivers is going to like having a big body like Green to toss the ball up to when he’s in trouble, both in the red zone and deep down the field.
Green is going to need to put on some weight. If he does, he’ll have the potential to be a legit threat at the tight end position, different than the man (Gates) he will replace. He already plays a Rob Gronkowski-style of football. Once he gets the bulk behind him to really impose his will, he’ll be a scary guy for opposing defenses to have to cover.
Green could be a guy who drives Raider Nation and all of the AFC West crazy for years to come.