With Antonio Gates slowed by injuries the past two seasons, consider it wise for San Diego to look for another pass-receiving option at tight end -- with LaDarius Green that option. He's big (6-foot-6), fast (he runs a 4.45 40) and has a 35-inch vertical leap. He's also productive, producing five catches for 121 yards in his final performance against San Diego State.
GM A.J. Smith had this to say about Green: "I wanted to have a balanced draft with a heavy emphasis on defense in the first three rounds. So now we're going to flip to balance it. Green is a rare receiving threat who fits the model of our offense -- like an Antonio Gates. He's not a blocker, and he isn't going to be a blocker. But he has rare skills with speed, and we like his height, his hands, catch radius and burst. We think he's a smart kid, but we'll see how quickly he picks it up. If he comes up really, really quickly we'll have a lot of additional weapons there. We're thinking: Could it be Gates and LaDarius Green? Not at the beginning of the year, but [we'll tell him to] take a half a year to feel your way along."
It doesn't sound like the Chargers are going to press Green early in the year, but he could emerge in the second half of the season if he can catch on quickly. Gates is reportedly feeling great, but Green could be pressed into action if Gates were to get injured again.