Pro Football Focus (PFF) has been conducting NFL-wide unit rankings for every position and their thoughts on two LA Rams’ key offensive positions are interesting.
PFF ranks the Rams’ tight ends as the fifth best unit in the league and the receiver as the 17th best unit. Therefore, the site thinks the Rams’ tight ends are elite and their receivers are average, although its analysis on the receiver is also strong.
The analytics-based site relies on metrics in its rankings and it ranks the units as a whole and not individually.
I was surprised the Rams’ tight ends ranked so highly. Most of the teams that ranked high at the position have an elite starter. For example, San Francisco (George Kittle) and Kansas City (Travis Kelce) were ranked No. 1 and No. 2. The Rams don’t have an elite tight end, but PFF liked what it saw from Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.
Here is some of what PFF wrote about the Rams’ tight ends:
The tight ends became a huge part of the Rams’ passing attack last season, finishing with 1,168 receiving yards, fifth-most of any tight end group in the league. Tyler Higbee broke out to produce the third-best receiving grade among tight ends (90.1) while catching over 80% of his targets and averaging 5.8 yards after the catch per reception. Gerald Everett finished with the ninth-best receiving grade (78.9), making the duo the only teammates to rank within the top 10. Everett is also one of the most elusive tight ends in the league, as he forced 13 missed tackles on just 37 receptions last season.
Here’s some PFF’s thoughts on the Rams’ receivers going into the 2020 season:
The Rams have had one of the most efficient receiving groups in the league over the last few years, and last season they tied for the sixth-best receiving grade at 78.9. Robert Woods has progressed to become one of the best receivers in the league since joining the Rams in 2017 — his 80.4 receiving grade ranked 14th last season. Woods has been “open” on 67.0% of his single-coverage targets since 2017, fifth-best in the NFL during that time. Right behind him in that department is Cooper Kupp, who has been open on 65.2% of his targets (sixth-best in the NFL), and he has posted a receiving grade of at least 76.0 in all three seasons.
That’s sounds pretty good to me. It seems like PFF likes the Rams more than their ranking indicates, perhaps that because there are so many good receiver units in the league.
The rise of Higbee and the solid play of the receivers, this analysis shows Sean McVay’s passing offensive options are near the top of the NFL overall.