- A closer look at the Chargers' picks: Round 4/110 - Ladarius Green, TE, 6-6, 238, Louisiana-Lafayette...Antonio Gates has some tire wear remaining, but he's not getting younger and has been slowed by injuries. In Green, the Chargers might have Gates' eventual replacement. - The Sports Xchange
Full Ladarius Green News Wire
Green was skipped over by many major college programs because he was deemed a tall, skinny receiver without great speed. But as he continues to add weight without losing significant speed or agility, pro scouts are not likely to make the same mistake. Tall, athletic tight ends like Green are coveted in today's pass-happy NFL offenses.
The Pensacola product took advantage of not being buried on a SEC team's depth chart, playing in 12 games as a true freshman (22 receptions, 268 yards, five touchdowns). Sun Belt coaches gave him second-team all-conference honors in 2009 despite his missing three games due to a neck injury (32-533-2). They bumped him to the top squad in 2010 after leading his team in receiving (44-794-7) while again missing two contests because of a sprained ankle.
Not many tight end average 18 yards a catch, as Green did in 2010. He does play in a non-BCS conference, but major programs like Georgia (4-87-1) last year, as well as LSU (6-64) and Nebraska (5-68) in 2009, found out he can make plays against defense. Scouts will likely give him similar grades to last year's top Sun Belt athletic-but-slender tight end, Florida Atlantic's Rob Housler (selected in the third round of the 2011 draft by Arizona).
Positives: Tremendous body control and concentration to pull the ball down in traffic. Closely covered on many receptions but had few drops. Good body control, focus and large 10-inch mitts. Has quick feet and lateral agility to uncover over the middle. Reliable jump-ball target with 82-inch wingspan. Effort blocker with good work and practice habits.
Negatives: Overwhelmed by stronger defenders at the point. Long arms don't get up and extended quickly enough as a blocker. Average second-level blocker who should erase defensive backs. Big fish in a small pond.