Can LA Rams foolproof their TE position for 2022?

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams offense has been a bit of a work in process over the years. Based upon the availability of personnel, positions, and skillsets, the Rams’ offense has transformed over the years. But that pattern of changing personnel, positions, and skillsets truly accelerated in the 2021 NFL season, and perhaps at no position more than the tight end role.

So what?
Well, if the offense had depended upon the play of tight ends in the past, one of two things must occur for the team in 2022. Either the team must be able to count on tight end play in the upcoming NFL season, or they will need a better Plan B than they executed in 2021.

It’s just that simple.

So let’s do a quick review over the course of the past five seasons for the LA Rams, and how Tyler Higbee (TH), Gerald Everett (GE), Derek Carrier (DC), Johnny Mundt (JM), Kendall Blanton (KB), and Brycen Hopkins (BH) performed.

  • Year         Players           Catches      Yards       TDs
  1. 2017       GE/TH/DC            49            610          3
  2. 2018       GE/TH/JM            58            617          5
  3. 2019       GE/TH/JM          110          1168         5
  4. 2020       GE/TH/JM             89            991         6
  5. 2021       TH/KB/BH/JM     67            615         5

As you can see, the peak of tight end performance occurred in 2019. Since that time, tight end play has regressed considerably.  Were the spikes in 2019 and 2020 anomalies and the Rams offense has just returned to its normal center of gravity?

Or is something else going on here? For instance, we know that starting tight end Tyler Higbee missed two regular-season games for the Rams, plus Super Bowl LVI. At the same time, we know that backup tight end Johny Mundt missed 11 regular-season games and all of the playoffs. The drop in 2021 was not due to the offensive playbook, but rather the numerous injuries that afflicted the top two tight ends on the roster.

This does not take into account how the absence of Johnny Mundt had adversely impacted the team’s running attack, either.

So while we prioritize the LA Rams remaining roster needs for this draft, don’t be surprised if they add a tight end to the group. After all, regression is the opposite direction of improvement.  The LA Rams want to defend their hard-fought NFL Championship Title, so look for the team to make foolproof improvements to the tight end play.

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