The Chargers lost Hunter Henry to the Patriots in free agency and have done a decent job of filling the tight room with a balance of upside, talent, and potential. They retained Stephen Anderson, signed veteran Jared Cook, and drafted Tre’ McKitty in the third round of this year. On top of those moves, they added one more tight end — another Hunter — in former Oregon Duck and college teammate to Justin Herbert, Hunter Kampmoyer.
Kampmoyer’s path to the NFL actually started on the other side of the football. During his first to two years in Eugene, the 6’4, 240-pounder was a defensive end. After redshirting in 2016, he saw time in all 13 games and finished with five total tackles.
Ahead of the 2018 season, Kampoyer transitioned to tight end but played mainly on special teams, specifically kick return. His first year as an offensive player ended with him recording just a lone catch for five yards.
As he grew into his new role during the 2019 campaign, Kampmoyer took on more responsibility as a pass-catcher and contributor on special teams. His final receiving line improved to five catches for 59 yards and his first collegiate touchdown on top of playing on both punt coverage and return teams.
His final season at Oregon was his first without Herbert under center. He started four games — playing in five total — and recorded career-highs of 14 catches, 161 yards, and three touchdowns. In the clip above, you can see one of Kampmoyer’s three scores on the year, this one being in the Pac-12 Championship Game against USC.
On the play, he takes advantage of the Ducks’ avid usage of their quick game. The outside receiver takes a jab step before coming straight back to the line of scrimmage for a “now” screen and Kampmoyer’s releases outside to feign a block before heading up the sideline. The quarterback under-throws the ball slightly but he’s able to high-point the pass and come down with the ball between the corner and safety coming over the top.
Overall he’s incredibly raw as a route-runner and found most of his success on short to intermediate routes like quick outs, short crossers, and flat routes.
Kampmoyer also excelled as a blocker when used either in-line or as a wing. In the clip below, the Ducks are running a read option with Kampmoyer coming across the formation to kick out the play-side linebacker. He knows to aim for the up-field shoulder which turns the defender out of the hole before he finishes him into the dirt.
Feast your eyes on this block by new Chargers TE Hunter Kampmoyer. pic.twitter.com/4EtMd0E0Iz— Jason Balliet II (@Syntari13) May 2, 2021
While it would be exciting to give Herbert another familiar face on the offense, Kampmoyer has one of the hardest fights to make the active roster. Above him sits the team’s most-recent third-round pick, an established veteran who will start, and two young talents that have both shown the ability to get the job done in the NFL. If anything, I think Kampmoyer’s biggest goal should be to replace Matt Sokol as the team’s lone tight end on the practice squad by the end of training camp.