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Tre’ McKitty tabbed as Chargers’ ‘surprise rookie gem’

A lack of production in college isn’t enough to keep the Bolts from loving their third-round tight end.

Georgia vs South Carolina Photo by Tony Walsh/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

What separates the good teams from the great teams in the NFL is their ability to build a competitive, consistently successful roster without paying a premium in the process. Another way of saying this is that it’s a massive help to the team’s longevity should they be able to find instant-impact players — or “gems” — in the draft during the mid to late rounds

According to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, the “surprise rookie gem” for the Chargers this year is tight end Tre’ McKitty, the team’s second of their two third-round picks in this year’s draft.

“The Los Angeles Chargers lost starting tight end Hunter Henry in free agency and will need to replace his receiving production to help support second-year quarterback Justin Herbert,” says Knox. “While the Chargers have Stephen Anderson and added Jared Cook, rookie third-round pick Tre’ McKitty can absolutely be a factor here.”

“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.”

I think there’s some justifiable hype to be had with McKitty, but I’m not there’s enough to warrant his selection to this list above the likes of Josh Palmer and Chris Rumph.

McKitty was selected, as Tom Telesco put it post-draft, because he was the last pro-ready blocking tight end left on the board. If that’s the way they view him, I’m not sure how excited you can get about a player with an inherently low ceiling. if anything, the tight end we should all be hyped for is Donald Parham.

Either way, it’s nice to see praise for the McKitty pick since most of the notable draft analysts believed the selection to be one of the biggest reaches in the entire draft. Most scouts reportedly had a sixth or seventh-round grade on him, but if he’s anywhere near the guy the Chargers believe him to be, I think he’ll turn out just fine in his role.