Best depth the LA Rams have enjoyed under Coach McVay at this position?

Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
3 of 4
LA Rams News Rams roster Brycen Hopkins
Brycen Hopkins Los Angeles Rams / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

III: Brycen Hopkins

As much as I'd love to explain why the LA Rams offense simply has not clicked for their second-most senior tight end Brycen Hopkins, I truly cannot. Clearly the LA Rams front office thought enough of the young man to invest a fourth-round pick to select him during the 2020 NFL Draft, so he fit the template of tight end that Rams scouts were working with at the time. He's caught eight of 12 passes targeting him, so it cannot be that the guy can't catch the ball.

4th year veteran. 51. NFL Draft Profile. PFN Draft Profile. Tight End. Brycen Hopkins. 3. player

Prior to the 2022 NFL season, I was willing to accept the problem of young players not seeing much in the way of playing time on their inability to contribute. But after seeing what WR Tutu Atwell could deliver once the Rams finally began to incorporate using him in the offense, I'm not so sure that is a fair assessment. After all, Hopkins caught all four passes thrown his way in Super Bowl LVI, a game with the brightest spotlights. So how is it that he was only targeted 11 times all of the 2022 NFL season? After all, wasn't this the guy who had the reputation of making circus catches in college?

While I think that the LA Rams and Brycen Hopkins have too much water under the bridge now to salvage Hopkins's career with the team, I am still of the opinion that he could make a difference to this offense if given a chance. I simply no longer believe that he will be given much of a chance. After all, this is the last year of his current contract. If he hasn't been given a shot before now, how will he fare any better this season in the face of more competition?

Projection: Waived at 53-man roster reduction

II: Hunter Long

While we had discussed what newly acquired TE Hunter Long brings to the Rams roster, there is always more to discern when looking over the position group as a whole. For instance, Hunter Long was the player who the Rams wanted when trading away one of the NFL's top defensive backs Jalen Ramsey. Despite his lack of use in the Dolphins' offense, there clearly was more to his acquisition than a knee-jerk 'we'll take that guy," sort of reaction. After the fact, the Rams indicated that they were very interest in Hunter Long in the 2021 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft Profile. Boston College. Hunter Long. 2. player. 51. NFL Draft Buzz. Tight end

Per their NFL Draft profiles, Hunter Long is comparable talent-wise to Rams rookie Davis Allen. But when you compare the talent of the 2021 NFL Draft at the position, Davis Allen was the 10th-best tight end in the 2023 NFL Draft, while Hunter Long was the fourth-best tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Long is a big-bodied tight end, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 253 pounds. In the minds of many, Long will fill the void of a blocking tight end on the Rams roster. But he could prove to be much more than that. Hunter Long was targetted just three times in the Miami Dolphins offense for one catch of eight yards. The Rams' offense is structured a bit differently, and If he gets a fair share of playing time, I can see how he could surpass expectations this year.

Projection: 53-man roster, TE2