USA TODAY Sports
How good is Lance Kendricks? Well, there are two players on the 49ers that he resembles in some ways.
Lately, I've been seeing on Twitter and on this site about the possibility of the St. Louis Rams adding a tight end in the first round. I can't completely disagree with those who want the Rams to draft a tight end, because honestly, the Rams need play makers and tight ends are coming into their own now in the NFL.
Well in 2011, the Rams' old regime drafted Kendricks in hopes of him becoming the next big thing at tight end. If Kendricks was drafted 7 years ago, no one would be worried about him not being that productive in the passing game. But times have changed, and being a second round pick means that you should be able to block, and you better make plays like Vernon Davis does. Yet, besides a glimpse or two, he really hasn't shown much as a receiver.
So the question becomes, how good is Kendricks? Can he develop into an Vernon Davis type of player, or will he continue to be the Delanie Walker of the Rams?
This season he improved, catching 42 passes, on 64 targets, finishing the season with 519 yards, and averaging 12.4 yards per catch. (In Tampa Bay he caught an 80 yard pass, which helped his average 29.8, which really raised his numbers) I know what you're thinking, the Tampa Bay game, really helped him, it did, but the Rams want and need plays like that to happen.
Part of the reason Kendricks wasn't a factor in the passing game was because of the multiple injuries on the offensive line. Also, you really didn't see him catching passes 10 yards down the field. Was that because he couldn't get open, or because he wasn't asked? Who knows.
If the Rams want Kendricks to become like Vernon Davis, they will have to draft a player like Michael Williams from Alabama, who would fit into the Walker role. Kendricks had a 70% catching rating, so his hands aren't as big of a problem, as they were in his rookie season.
Kendricks has been a well rounded tight end for the Rams; a player that has shown he will have a long career in this league. But will that career be spent mostly in making big plays, or making big blocks?
Yes, I will never place 49er highlights in an article again.