Look for LA Rams Brycen Hopkins to replicate a former Rams TE

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

The LA Rams depth chart is decided for the team’s tight ends. Veteran tight end Tyler Higbee will return as the team’s starting tight end. But the LA Rams have now determined that Brycen Hopkins, a former Purdue Boilermaker who was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 136th overall pick, will take up as the team’s second tight end. So what does that mean for Hopkins, and the Rams’ offense?

For that answer, we need to dial back the time machine back to 2018, when the Rams boasted tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. In 2018, Everett caught 33 of 50 targets for 320 yards and three touchdowns. Everett would go on in 2019 to catch 37 of 60 targets for 408 yards and two touchdowns. In 2020, Everett would catch 41 of 62 passes for 417 yards and a touchdown.

When the team first drafted Brycen Hopkins, that move was in anticipation of Hopkins taking over for Everett, who ultimately signed on with the Seattle Seahawks. Now that the LA Rams coaching staff has reached a consensus on Hopkins to fill the team’s TE2 role, what should you be looking for from him this season?

In all honesty, whether you are seeking insider intel for your upcoming fantasy football draft, or are simply curious about what to expect, I think that the production from Brycen Hopkins this season will be very similar to what the Rams got out of Gerald Everett. That translates into 40 catches out of 60 targets for 400 yards and two touchdowns.

Of course, I don’t expect that he will begin the season as a primary target. The Rams will likely work three or four-receiver formations heavily early in the year, as the team tries to get veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford in synch with a talented group of receivers. If the team struggles to run the football, or as the team begins to enter November or December weather.

Hopkins has always been praised for his ability to make sensational catches. He has struggled in the past at making the more routine catches and at making and holding blocks. It seems as though the Rams are now satisfied with his ability to perform everything that will be asked from him as a tight end.

That means that the Rams will have at least two tight ends on their roster this season. And that also means that Brycen Hopkins has ultimately taken over the TE2 role from Gerald Everett, albeit in a longer period than originally expected

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