Rams Roster Review: Lance Kendricks, Tight End


The newly resigned tight end, Lance Kendricks, has had a slow start to his NFL career, but looks to have found a future home in St. Louis. Kendricks was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft. A second round pick in a tight end is a large investment. Kendricks had a quality college career at Wisconsin earning All-American honors and was a finalist for the John Mackey Award in 2010 as a senior. The John Mackey Award is given to the nations top tight end in college football.

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Kendricks has been productive in his time with the Rams, but hasn’t quite lived up to his draft position. Since 2011, Kendricks has never posted more than 519 receiving yards, and his five receiving touchdowns last year were a career high. His pass catching ability was questioned early on in his NFL career when dropped passes were a regular occurrence, but he seems to have settled in nicely. Heading into his fifth year, Kendricks will be asked to become more of a run blocker on the edge for newly acquired running back Todd Gurley. In a Rams offense that looks to be run oriented, Kendricks may have lost his opportunity to establish himself as a pass catching option for this offense.

The signing of star tight end Jared Cook in 2013 also put a damper on the impact Kendricks may have moving forward. Cook came over from Tennessee to rejoin head coach Jeff Fisher and was a big money signing for St Louis that year. Cook has been the leading offensive option at the tight end position since joining the team. He has flirted with 700 receiving yards in each of his two years with the Rams.

Nov 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Lance Kendricks (88) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

However, the resigning of Kendricks shows he does hold an important place in the future of the St. Louis Franchise. In May of this year, Kendricks signed a new 4-year deal worth $18.5 million. Of that $18.5 million, $10 million is guaranteed. Kendricks is set to make $5.5 million in salary and roster bonus this year.

With all signs pointing towards a new run-first offense, quality blocking tight ends will be a top priority for St. Louis. New starting quarterback Nick Foles may also find a niche in the passing game for Kendricks. All things are trending in the right direction for the young player and he should be a staple in this young offense moving well beyond 2015.