Finding a better fit
The LA Rams drafted tight end, Brycen Hopkins, with the 136th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. At the time, the hope was that the team could redshirt him through the 2020 NFL season and have him ready to take over when veteran TE Gerald Everett’s contract expired. Well, Everett signed on with the Seattle Seahawks in free agency, but Hopkins was not ready to step up. In fact, Hopkins was leap-frogged by both TE Johnny Mundt and TE Kendall Blanton.
It was only when the LA Rams were down to Brycen Hopkins as the team’s lone healthy tight end in Super Bowl LVI that he was able to catch four of four passes thrown his way for 47 yards. The question now is, how much stock do to place into one game? In my view, the Rams’ current depth chart remains TE1 Tyler Higbee, TE2 Johnny Mundt (if extended), TE3 Kendall Blanton, and finally TE4 Brycen Hopkins. If the Rams view their depth in a similar manner, the time to cash in Hopkins for a draft pick is now, when he has the good memory of performing well in the NFL Championship Game.
Otherwise, he goes back to training camp, ends up at the bottom of the depth chart, and wilts one more year as an unused offensive weapon on the LA Rams roster.
Rams should trade RB Raymond Calais
Just as the opportunity to find a role in the LA Rams offense seems to have come and gone for WR Tutu Atwell, the injury that sidelined RB Raymond Calais seems to have eliminated the special teams return role that was once earmarked for Raymond Calais. Now, it would make more sense for the Rams to trade Calais to another NFL team in need of an inexpensive punt or kickoff returner, and in return add a draft pick.
Calais is one of six running backs who will be on the LA Rams roster in 2022 recovering from a major injury. He is joined by Cam Akers, Xavier Jones, Darrell Henderson, Jake Funk, and Buddy Howell. It’s simply too much risk for one NFL team to assume with so many recovering running backs slated to compete for roles in 2022.
Since the Rams seem to be set on special teams with Brandon Powell, Raymond Calais could be placed on the trade block for a late draft pick. By giving Calais a chance to compete for a new team, the Rams give him a chance to earn a larger role on his new team. And the Rams can use whatever pick earned from the exchange to add depth to any number of positions that need young players to develop for future roles.