The Los Angeles Rams’ front office enters the 2020 season with a bevy of difficult decisions to make. The tight end situation is seemingly flying under the radar. Tyler Higbee currently sits atop the depth chart, but what does that mean for the 2017 second round pick, Gerald Everett? Both Higbee and Everett possess unique skill sets that can be utilized differently. However, now is the time for the Rams to make a move with Everett.
Everett has accumulated only 972 receiving yards and seven touchdowns since entering the league. That’s not exactly the production you want out of a second round pick, but he has flashed his play-making potential. Unfortunately, his injuries and Higbee’s emergence as a receiving threat left Everett on the outside looking in.
That doesn’t mean that Everett’s career is lost. Teams need a big target at the tight end position in today’s NFL. There are plenty of teams that don’t have that and are looking for a big-bodied, fast receiver to plug in at tight end. Everett fits that bill well and could make an immediate impact in the right situation.
One play from last season stands out to me. During the Week 5 game in Seattle, QB Jared Goff ran a play-action fake before the pocket started breaking down. Everett didn’t quit on the play, and positioned himself wide open in the middle of the field with plenty of room to run. The most impressive part of that play is when he fought off the initial contact at the 10-yard yard line and barreled his way toward the end zone. He didn’t score, but his effort and desire to make a play for his team shouldn’t be ignored. Another aspect of this play that may be overlooked is that it happened when the Rams were down by one point late in the third quarter. His catch put them in position to take the lead before the fourth quarter. His playmaking ability should be taken into consideration for teams looking to fill the tight end spot.
This play, as well as several others over his career, demonstrate all of his best qualities, including his balance, strength, speed and clutch playmaking ability. Take all of these attributes and attach a small price tag on an expiring contract, and Everett makes for an attractive option for a team looking for a little risk.
Who would be the best fit for Everett?
Higbee’s extension and Everett’s blocking issues likely means the Rams will be open to making a deal. The only question is which team would likely be a suitable buyer for Everett? Rams head coach Sean McVay’s good friend Zac Taylor fits the bill as a solid candidate. The Bengals appear content to let Tyler Eifert walk in free agency after his injury-marred tenure in Cincinnati. Then C.J. Uzomah and Everett should be able to balance each other out nicely while creating a bit of competition in Cincy.
The Bengals used Uzomah a lot in blocking situations and Everett’s major weakness remains his blocking ability. Instead, Everett would enter the 2020 season as one of the Bengals’ most explosive and experienced receiving options. Everett would be a perfect target for Joe Burrow or anyone else under center for the Bengals in 2020.
Another reason why the Bengals would be a great trade candidate is because of their NFL Draft capital in 2020 and beyond. I believe a deal sending Everett to the Bengals for the 97th overall pick and a conditional pick in 2021 could yield positive results for both teams.