Who is TE2 after LA Rams lose TE Johnny Mundt to Vikings?

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 3
LA Rams Free Agency Kendall Blanton
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Option I:

The LA Rams liked the look and feel of backup tight end Kendall Blanton. And why not? The guy lines up at 6-foot-6 and 260-pounds, big enough to assert his will on the offensive line of scrimmage. While he may not be at the same blocking level as Mundt just yet, he is certainly capable of getting there.

In the meantime, the young man fought hard to earn playing time in 2021, his first opportunity to play with the Rams offense. In the regular season, he hauled in four of seven passes thrown his way, moving the chains twice. But that was just the beginning. In the playoffs, he was a perfect seven of seven receptions, gaining 75 yards, five first downs, and he even scored a touchdown. His post-season grade from Pro Football Focus even came in at a very respectable 67.6.

While he may not be a 17 game starter, there is plenty of evidence to suggest he is ready to take on the second tight end role in the Rams offense.

Must Read. Rams Free Agency tracker 2022: Who’s coming and going in Los Angeles?. light

Option II:

While I believe that the job is Blanton’s to lose, there are certainly other options. For example, the LA Rams, out of options, were forced to play tight end, Brycen Hopkins, in Super Bowl LVI. Prior to that, the team seemed to have Hopkins in the dog house. He saw action on just 59 offensive plays in 2021 and was targetted just once.

He caught that one pass, good enough for nine yards and a first down. In Super Bowl LVI, he was given another chance. In that game, he caught four of four passes for 47 yards and was able to gain three critical first downs for the team. Some have jumped to the conclusion that one game is Hopkins’s epiphany, and that he has the NFL all figured out now.  I remain unconvinced at this point. Yes, it was a positive first step and was crucial to sustaining the team’s offensive drives, but I do not believe that he offers much in the way of a blocking role in the Rams offense.

He will have another chance to change minds in 2022.