The LA Rams are playing in 2023, in part, to determine who is worth bringing back to the team to compete in 2024. But not everyone appears slated to reboard the ship for next year's cruise through the 2024 NFL schedule
Despite the LA Rams roster being impacted by multiple injuries to tight ends in Week 14, veteran TE Brycen Hopkins did not appear in the game. For that matter, he has been somewhat of a cameo appearance only for the LA Rams throughout his four year NFL career. That does not bode well for him in terms of extending through the 2024 season and beyond.
When the LA Rams drafted Hopkins in Round 4 of the 2020 NFL Draft, with the 136th overall pick. At the time, the Rams were stocking their tight end group in preparation for former tight end Gerald Everett's departure via free agency. While Everett did sign elsewhere, the Rams naver embraced Hopkins in a TE2 role.
Rookie Davis Allen leapfrogged Hopkins on the depth chart
That is a bit curious, as this does not seem to be a matter of production. In all honesty, Hopkins has caught 15 of 20 passes thrown his way, for an impressive catch rate of 75 percent. While he has yet to catch an NFL touchdown, he has moved the chains 10 times with his 15 receptions. So it's not exactly a matter of production. Rather, it seems to be a matter of fit.
Tight ends seem to come in three flavors. Those who catch the football only, those who block only, and those who can excel at both. In the Rams offense, blocking is a prerequisite for any player to earn offensive snaps. Unfortunately, Hopkins is primarily a pass-catching tight end.
Hopkins did see four offensive snaps in Week 14. But tight end Hunter Long palyed 19 offensive snaps before he was injured on a special teams play. Rookie teammate tight end Davis Allen saw 55 offensive snaps in Week 14. It's fair to conclude that Brycen Hopkins is the fourth of four tight ends on the LA Rams depth chart this year.
The Rams roster currently projects three tight ends on the roster for 2024, and Brycen Hopkkns is not one of them. I don't see the Rams bringing him back either. Whatever role the Rams had for a third tight end now seems to be perfectly filled by Davis Allen, for now.
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