Fourth-round draft pick Scott Chandler signed a four year deal with the Chargers yesterday. He is the latest tight end to be brought in by a team that desperately needs insurance behind All-Pro Antonio Gates.
Aaron Shea, Stephen Alexander, and Ryan Krause were all failed experiments and none of those three tight ends was able to stick with the team. Alexander was a poor athlete who was one-dimensional. Krause had potential with his ability to make the acrobatic catch but he failed to stay healthy. Shea was on Injured Reserve the entire season last year and is no longer with the Chargers.
The Chargers traded their fourth round pick last year for the rights to TE Brandon Manumaleuna. Manumaleuna proved to be an excellent pick up for the Bolts, and was a big reason why the Chargers had such great blocking up front. While Manumaleuna does catch the occasional pass, he primarily a blocking tight end who can't be asked to run routes consistently because his size and endurance are not well-suited for that task.
In Scott Chandler, the Chargers are hoping to have a pass catching target who can backup Antonio Gates and do some of the same things that Gates does. Chandler will be asked to improve as a blocker and to be a guy who can be a multidimensional player who is both a weapon, as well as someone who can eliminate a linebacker from the play.
Norv Turner has long been known as a guy who likes to use multi-tight end sets and the addition of Chandler provides Turner with a player who can get down the field and make a play. Chandler is 6'7" target who can find ways to get open. As a converted Wide Receiver, Chandler runs surprisingly good routes for a man of his frame. He was consistently ranked as one of the top tight end prospects in the 2007 draft. Productive in college, Chandler will hopefully develop into yet another weapon for the Chargers offense and be a match up nightmare for the defensive backs in the AFC West.
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