Following the 2018 NFL Draft, the Chargers picked up a pair of tight ends out of the Big 12 in TCU’s Cole Hunt and Kansas’ Ben Johnson. At the time, this seemed like a questionable decision as the Bolts had recently picked up veteran Virgil Green from the Broncos and still had Hunter Henry, Braedon Bowman, and Sean Culkin on the roster.
After Henry sustained a season-ending ACL injury during minicamp, a gaping hole was left at the tight end position. Though Green is the most experienced of the group, he only has 71 career catches over his seven-year career. Former UDFAs Culkin and Bowman were immediately slotted in as the front-runners to take over the lion’s share of targets due to them being the only other tight ends on the roster with any experience with an NFL team prior to this year.
Hunt, on the other hand, has shown that the job is as wide open as ever following a strong start to training camp by the monolithic tight end.
Following Day 3 of training camp, Ricky Henne and Hayley Elwood of Chargers.com both selected Hunt as one of the top performers on the first day of padded practice, stating that the tight end had a string of plays that caught the eye of coaches and fans.
Rarely used in the passing game while in college, it’s surprising to see him making these strides early on in camp. In his final year at TCU, Hunt had just seven catches for 63 yards en route to earning an Honorable Mention All-Big-12 selection.