The Los Angeles Rams haven’t had a game-changing TE since Ernie Conwell (1996-2002) during the Greatest Show on Turf era. Don’t get me wrong, there have been TEs that do contribute to the team’s success. None have become icons like Rob Gronkowski or Antonio Gates. Those players are difficult to find, but they haven’t found notable contributors like Zach Ertz or Kyle Rudolph either.
It’s not for a lack of trying though. The Rams have brought in veterans like Randy McMichael and Jared Cook. Both did have success prior to joining the Rams, but didn’t transition well. The coaching staff didn’t help matters by failing to provide a winning season until Sean McVay came to town.
Drafting attempts didn’t churn out any stars either. Think back to guys like: Joe Klopfenstein, Lance Kendricks, Dominique Byrd and Fendi Onobun. Aside for making an argument for Kendricks’s production, the Rams did fail to draft a capable tight end. The potential is there for some of these guys but they haven’t become that go-to tight end.
Currently, the Rams are relying on Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee. Both are products of the NFL Draft and have had mild success. Everett is thriving in McVay’s offensive scheme. He’s an intriguing player in 2019 due to his speed. Consistency remains the biggest struggle of all active tight ends.
This brings up a question that analysts around the league are asking, “Should the Rams draft a tight end?” McVay did use tight ends in the past, but he hasn’t really used them in Los Angeles. Truthfully, he doesn’t really need an elite tight end. Of course an elite tight end would be welcomed edition to the team. That said, Jared Goff does have access to three amazing receivers like Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. This also doesn’t include Todd Gurley in the backfield and a backup like Josh Reynolds.
The Rams have put themselves in position to draft the best player available. The Rams need an inside linebacker, center and offensive guard. However, the Rams could go with the best player available. With the 31st overall pick, this is around the area that the top tight ends are taken. Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson is the top talent in the 2019 NFL Draft. The talent drops significantly after him. Iowa’s Noah Fant and Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. are the next best of the bunch. Guys like UCLA’s Caleb Wilson and San Jose State’s Josh Oliver would be reach at pick 31.
That’s not to say the Rams have to pick a tight end with their first round pick. Although, this begs the question why should they draft a tight end in lower rounds? Everett becomes the better player and then the rookie tight end is just an extra body. But McVay does have a vision and extra weapons for Goff is never a bad thing. In short, unless Hockenson falls to pick 31 and the Rams aren’t happy with other players available, I highly doubt the Rams draft a tight end. At least with pick No. 31.