Rams camp preview: Lance Kendricks, TE


With the 2015 season and training camps just around the corner, the Rams will have a chance to check their team roster and work on improving their offensive fluency. With the changes in offense this season, tight end Lance Kendrick may become a vital player in adding depth on offensive plays.

Kendricks was selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Rams, as the 47th overall pick. Looking to the origins of the tight end, Kendricks played his collegiate football for the Wisconsin Badgers starting 17 of 30 games totalling 62 receptions and 914 yards. In 2010, he recorded 131 receiving yards vs Arizona State, ranking as the eighth-best single game performance by a Wisconsin tight end (fourth-best in a regular season contest) and were the most by a player at his position since Beckum gained 160 yards vs Illinois (10/06/2007).

Dec 21, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Lance Kendricks (88) catches a pass prior to a game against the New York Giants at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Kendricks also demonstrated his ability at the 2011 NFL combine, completing the 40 yard dash in 4.75 seconds, the vertical jump at 34.5 inches, also completing an elite 25 reps on the bench press. A highlight of his combine was the broad jump, where he jumped an impressive 122.0 inches and completed the 20-yard shuffle in 4.15 seconds.

At 6’3’’ and 27 years old, Kendricks is often called the ‘swiss army knife’, showing versatility at the line of scrimmage, with the ability to line up as a H-back or as a receiver in the tight end position.

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During the 2014 regular season with St. Louis, he played all 16 games, starting 14 of them. Kendricks was targeted 38 times on the pass play, notching 27 receptions for 259 yards producing 5 touchdowns, with no recorded fumbles, effectively contributing to the offensive plays. Playing under second string quarter back Shaun Hill and recording a career-high 5 touchdown season, Kendricks will be looking to further increase his productivity and reliability on offensive sequences with newly acquired quarter back Nick Foles.

Kendricks’ amount of targeted passes and receiving yards has begun to decline since the introduction of Jared Cook in 2013, and although he may no longer be the star tight end for the Rams, his ability and experience at the position provides much needed depth on the St Louis offensive roster due to injury, or simply in a two tight end formation.

When the 2015 free agency period began, Kendricks attracted interest from other clubs among the typical frenzy of free agency. However he decided to stay with St Louis, as Nick Wagoner from ESPN reported,

"“Kendricks received a four-year, $18.5 million deal that he said last week wasn’t even the biggest offer he received. The deal includes $10 million guaranteed but includes no signing bonus and thus, no proration, which means they could part ways with Kendricks after the first year without any dead money.”"

On one hand, a deal such as this represents the trust that the Rams organization places on the tight end, however, it is also the value that Kendricks himself places on the Rams organisation, choosing to re-sign.

Following the new deal in St Louis, Kendricks will be looking to improve his consistency on offense in a developing offensive roster, as the Rams compete in the tough NFC West division.