In his second NFL season, Henry has all the makings of a proper heir apparent to Antonio Gates. He recorded 36 receptions for 478 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2016 and has built on that this year, with 45 catches for 579 yards and four scores.
"Hunter is a kid who is going to play a long time with a lot of successful seasons. For a young player, he's got a tremendous amount of poise. He has rare awareness and savvy for someone his age," Chargers tight end coach John McNulty said, per the team's website. "The biggest thing is that he has ball skills. He can catch the ball that gets in on him fast, and he makes the contested catches with big, strong hands."
Antonio Gates is still fully in the picture at age 37, so the Chargers will likely be fine at the tight end spot if Henry misses extended time. He's better at stretching the field than Gates, however, and this will limit the Chargers' downfield options, but Philip Rivers has long been good at making do with what's in front of him.