The LA Rams extended Tyler Higbee, their best tight end, through 2023 last year. So as far as a number one option, they have one.
Higbee is 27 and last season caught 69 of 89 targets for 734 yards and three touchdowns. With the trade of Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans, Higbee could even see an uptick in his targets potentially, though I’m not sure his ceiling there will go beyond 100 in Sean McVay’s offense.
Behind Higbee is Gerald Everett, the 44th overall pick in the 2017 draft out of South Alabama. Everett caught 37 of 60 targets for 408 yards and two touchdowns. He is clearly behind Higbee in several respects, but Everett — 26 is June — has had great moments, including a 7-catch, 136 yard performance against the Seattle Seahawks last season.
The other tight ends currently on the roster are Johnny Mundt, Kendall Blanton, and Ethan Wolf. Mundt is considered an excellent blocker and special teamer and the Rams kept him as an exclusive rights free agent this year, but he’s not likely to take over the Gerald Everett role, should he need to; Everett is going into the final year of his contract and given the external circumstances, it may be hard for LA to bring him back.
The Rams are paying Higbee, sure, but they’re also paying a lot of other players. It’s what led to them reorganizing the roster as they’ve had to this offseason, barely staying under the salary cap and with remaining uncertainty as to how they’ll officially be in the black for the 2020 season. And seeing how tight ends were valued this year, with players like Jason Witten, Greg Olsen, and Jimmy Graham having no issues getting paid or finding work, the Atlanta Falcons giving up a second rounder for Hayden Hurst, the Cleveland Browns paying big bucks to Austin Hooper, I expect Everett to get paid well in 2021, so long as there’s a season and he’s healthy.
That’s why it won’t be surprising if the Rams do pick a tight end in this year’s draft.
As noted in the pre-draft visit tracker, LA has reportedly met with three tight ends that we know of:
Noah Togiai, TE, Oregon State (Pro Day)
Jacob Breeland, TE, Oregon (Workout)
Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue (Senior Bowl)
At the 2017 Combine, Everett was 6’3, 239 lbs, and ran a 4.62 40-yard dash.
Breeland: 6’5, 252 lbs, no 40 (knee injury)
Hopkins: 6’4, 245 lbs, 4.66 40-yard dash
Togiai: 6’3, 244 lbs, 4.7 40-yard dash (Pro Day only)
It should also be noted that in 2017, four players ran a sub-7 second time in the 3-cone and they were the first four tight ends drafted: OJ Howard, Evan Engram, David Njoku, and Everett.
The only tight end to run a sub-7 in that drill this year was Adam Trautman of Dayton. But he was also one of the slowest players in the 40. This is not a good year for tight ends, you may have heard, and that’s likely driven up the demand for Olsen, Witten, and Graham.
How important is the Rams need at tight end, scale of 1 to 5?
This poll is closed
5 (Gotta have it)
1 (Do not waste a second on this position)