V: Necessity could pave his way in 2024
When rookie TE Davis Allen was given a chance to perform, he did not disappoint. The only challenge in the 2023 NFL season was the absence of opportunities. It wasn't the fact that he couldn't do the job. The matter seemed to fall into that nebulous category of a lack of opportunities. After all, he was not competing against veteran TE Tyler Higbee for targets, but against WR Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, and even Tutu Atwell for targets as well.
He did see action in 192 offensive snaps and 104 special teams snaps in 2023. So while we are looking over the team's use of tight ends last season, why not compare them all in one data table?
Even if he was the lowest player on the initial depth chart for the 2023 NFL season, he certainly did nothing to justify keeping him on the bench. And as he earned a larger share of playing time, the team improved as well. He even started in Week 18, and helped to lead the team to a 21-20 victory over their hated NFC West Division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.
As it stands now, Brycen Hopkins's contract expires at the end of this season, and there is little evidence for the team to re-sign him. Both Tyler Higbee and Hunter Long ended 2023 on Injured Reserve, and there is no certainty that either will be healthy for the 2024 season, let alone for OTAs and training camp. That all but ensures that Davis Allen will command a great deal of attention in the 2024 offense.
In 2023, the opportunity created by injured veterans allowed Puka Nacua to breat All-Time NFL Rookie Receiving records. I would not go so far as to suggest that Davis Allen will lead the league in any offensive category. But an opportunity to start could open the door to his leading all tight ends in receptions, yards, and touchdowns on the team's roster.
And speaking of record setters . . .