Who can take over TE2 spot for LA Rams after losing TE Johnny Mundt?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Kendall Blanton
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

TE Kendall Blanton

So far, we’ve been talking about trying to reshape square pegs to fit into round holes. But promoting Kendall Blanton to the active roster now would most certainly put a big burly blocker back onto the team’s roster.  Hey, this guy is 6-foot-6 and weighs 260 pounds. If anyone on the team’s roster can block at the tight end spot, Blanton is it.

Until this season, Blanton had seemed to be a bit anonymous on the team. He is huge, yes. But his performance didn’t seem to showcase that size advantage on the football field. Well, until 2021 that is.

Positive reports from OTAs fed into positive reports from training camp fed into positive performances in preseason games. In fact, it almost seemed as though Blanton had overtaken Brycen Hopkins on the depth chart. Now, with Mundt lost for the season, Blanton is the obvious choice to be promoted to the active roster if the Rams do not use other tight-end options. If he is promoted, he has a good chance of showcasing his talents to block and catch. That could spell the end of Hopkins’s career with the Rams, and the start of Blanton’s career.

Why he won’t work

Kendall Blanton has yet to take on the yolk of the 53-man active roster. Yes, he’s big. Yes, he’s been with the team since 2019. Yes, he is an obvious choice. But he’s been unable to get over the hump to land a roster spot so far, and this is less of what Blanton has done to be promoted and more about Mundt’s absence creating a need in the team’s offense and special teams play.

The LA Rams have other options.

Right now, the Rams have three healthy tight ends on the roster, and Blanton is the lone tight end on the practice squad. With injuries mounting on the team’s defense, would the Rams be tempted to promote a defensive back here? With the team also losing RB Jake Funk, the team could promote RB Buddy Howell, whose 6-foot-1 225-pound build could give him the ability to fill in for Funk’s special team play, as well as play in a pseudo blocking back role as well. That would negate the need for Blanton to join the active roster as well.

Why he will work

To date, Blanton has been benched because his style of play is just too similar to that of Johnny Mundt. Now that Johnny Mundt is lost for the season, it’s time for his understudy to assume the lead role at TE2 for the Rams offense.

There is a lot to like about Blanton in this role. It’s not a high-pressure spot.  It’s blocking with an occasional pass tossed his way. Did we mention that Blanton is 6-foot-6? That’s as tall as Tyler Higbee, and at 262-pounds, he is an ideal size for getting physical at the line of scrimmage. That will be enough for now.

Eventually, Blanton could be the offense’s other receiver amidst the Rams pass progressions. He can be the outlet pass guy or the one who slips through undetected. Ultimately, he can grow into whatever role the coaches want and need him to play in the future.

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But like any of the three players mentioned so far, he will need opportunities. Will he get it? Someone will. All we can hope for now is that whoever is given a chance for a larger role in the LA Rams offense, they make the best of it. The Rams will need that player to perform well. Not just at catching passes, but in blocking too.