Chargers add WR Josh Palmer, TE Tre’ McKitty to catch for Justin Herbert – Daily Bulletin


Josh Palmer’s first high school football rep was against cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. His first one in the NFL might also be versus Samuel.

The Chargers drafted the former Tennessee wide receiver with their first third-round pick (77th overall) of the NFL draft on Friday. Palmer was a four-year starter at Tennessee with experience playing on the outside and inside.

Palmer was a high school teammate of Samuel in Florida at St. Thomas Aquinas — also the alma mater of Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa. Samuel was selected by the Chargers in the second round (47th overall) on Friday.

“It’s going to be exciting to reunite with (Samuel),” said Palmer, who was born and raised in Canada before moving to Florida for high school. “I’m ready to get to work. If I can fly down right now, I would be there right now, running routes tomorrow.”

The Chargers’ second third-round selection Friday night also has connections with Palmer and Samuel. The team drafted former Georgia tight end Tre’ McKitty with the 97th overall pick.

McKitty and Palmer will catch passes from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert while Samuel defends them in practices. McKitty was teammates with Samuel for two seasons at Florida State before transferring to Georgia.

McKitty spent three years total at Florida State and was teammates there with Chargers safety Derwin James and fullback Gabe Nabers.

“He’s a professional and he’s obviously a baller,” McKitty said about working with Herbert. “We kinda talked a few times (with Herbert and Nabers), but now it’s going to be awesome. We’re all going to be teammates.”

McKitty, a 6-foot-4, 246-pound tight end, only had six receptions last year with Georgia, but he said he transferred because he wanted to improve as a blocker against SEC competition. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said a reason why he drafted McKitty was because of his blocking skills.

The Chargers have a need for a blocking tight end because tight ends Jared Cook and Donald Parham Jr. are better suited as pass catchers. McKitty had 49 total receptions between his sophomore and junior seasons at Florida State.

Palmer, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound wideout, will join a Chargers’ receiving corps that includes Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton, Tyron Johnson and last year’s draft picks, K.J. Hill and Joe Reed.

“Learning as much as I can,” Palmer said about working with Allen and Williams. “I’m going to be in their back pocket, I can tell you guys that right now. I’m going to be watching them like a hawk, trying to study everything that they do on and off of the field.”

Palmer was known for his ball skills and toughness at Tennessee. He had 99 career receptions with seven touchdowns and 1,514 total yards in four seasons at Tennessee. Palmer credited his strong hands to playing soccer as a goalkeeper growing up in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

“If I didn’t go to Tennessee, I wouldn’t have been drafted by the Chargers right now,” Palmer said. “That’s how I see it. I was fortunate to learn from so many coaches and so many different ways of coaching.”

Derrick Ansley was the defensive coordinator at Tennessee the past two seasons before joining the Chargers this year as the defensive backs coach. Ansley saw firsthand what Palmer will provide for Herbert as a playmaker.

The Chargers didn’t address their lack of depth at edge rusher and safety Friday night, but they added two weapons for Herbert through many mutual connections.




Source link

WORLD NEWS