The Chargers have been blessed with tight ends for the better part of the past two decades. The lengthy and legendary career of Antonio Gates gave way to the Hunter Henry years which all spanned about 17 years from 2003 to 2020 when the latter signed with the Patriots in free agency.
Since then, the Chargers have had two seasons with as many new starting tight ends with Jared Cook in 2021 and then Gerald Everett this past season. Cook was “fine” but had too many focus drops. Everett, on the other hand, was actually pretty useful in a number of games where his YAC ability helped keep many a Chargers drive alive. I’m sure we all can’t forget the pick-six debacle in Kansas City, but setting career-highs in both receptions and receiving yards likely has both the Chargers and their fans excited for what he can do in year two in LA.
It’s this excitement and palpable hype surrounding the 29-year old that has some analysts believing that the best is still yet to come for Everett. In fact, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin believes he could very well be the most-underappreciated Charger on the entire team.
Here’s what Benjamin had to say:
“Is he a superstar at a position that kind of lacks them? Not necessarily. But coming off four straight years with at least 400 yards, including a career-high 555 in his Chargers debut, Everett proved in L.A. to be a requisite safety valve for Justin Herbert, which is more impressive when considering opponents often keyed in on him amid a rash of wide receiver injuries.”
Not only was Everett productive as a safety valve, he was also the team’s best YAC threat not named Austin Ekeler. After recording a new career high in 2021 with the Seahawks (249), Everett topped that by a good margin with 326 in 2022. Like Benjamin mentioned above, him being able to have a career year despite the list of injuries within the receiver room is really impressive, especially when you consider what the offense turned into when that unit was missing most of it’s top names.
With a new wideout in the mix in first0rounder Quentin Johnston, it’ll be interesting to see just how the target share gets split between the team’s playmakers. That may mean Everett’s numbers actually go in the opposite direction, but what can you do when the Chargers are doing everything (rightfully) that they can to make sure Justin Herbert has no shortage of usable pass-catchers around him?