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NFL Draft

What’s Gerald Everett’s Role With Rams Now?

  • The Draft Network
  • August 21, 2020
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The Los Angeles Rams stuck to what worked to see some immediate success following the 2017 season. It helped to have a young, innovative head coach. When Sean McVay began his tenure that year he did a couple of things to help turn the 4-12 Rams into a double-digit winning team, one that reached the Super Bowl in just his second season.

McVay spent his first draft pick on tight end Gerald Everett. It made sense. McVay had extensive experience working with tight ends, and he praised Everett’s confidence. He also used more 11 personnel sets than any other offense. Los Angeles was clicking, but it soon regressed. After two consecutive 10-plus win seasons and playoff appearances, the Rams put together a 9-7 season in 2019. It wasn’t horrible, but it didn’t meet the standard McVay and company set early in his tenure. 

Other teams seemed to catch onto Los Angeles’ tactics. No NFL team in the last three seasons used more 11 personnel sets than the Rams. They still had one of the better passing offenses last season—Los Angeles finished 2019 ranked 13th while averaging 7.4 yards per attempt—but it wasn’t near 2018 numbers when the Rams had the fourth-best passing offense, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt. Los Angeles needs to shake things up, which could affect Everett’s role both in the immediate future and as a staple in this organization.

Everett seemed to have caught on as well. After Everett missed some time in 2019 to injury, Tyler Higbee cemented his role as TE1 and the Rams selected Brycen Hopkins in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Everett penned a cryptic tweet in July saying he was “waiting on a decision that’s already been made.” 

His future in Los Angeles is in limbo. The Rams will be facing a number of financial decisions with wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, safety John Johnson, and Everett entering the final season of their rookie contracts. By bringing in an even young, even cheaper option in Hopkins and having an unquestioned starter in Higbee, that doesn’t bode well for Everett. He, however, has arguably more upside than Higbee and a breakout 2020 season could make him a priority when negotiations begin—or at least put him in a good position to get a lucrative contract elsewhere.

Los Angeles has one of the best tight end units in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. The Rams rank fifth with Higbee, Everett, Johnny Mundt, and Hopkins filling out the position. While Higbee produced a better receiving grade than Everett, the two were the only teammates to sit inside the top 10. Higbee earned the third-best receiving grade (90.1) of his position after finishing the 2019 season with 734 yards and three touchdowns. Everett ended the year with a 78.9 grade, good for ninth-best among tight ends, after hauling in 408 yards and two touchdowns. Where Everett differentiates himself is his illusiveness. According to PFF, he forced 13 missed tackles on just 37 receptions last season.

McVay showed a willingness to run more two-tight end sets last season and could deviate from his 11-personnel sets as the Rams work toward sustainable success in 2020. McVay and general manager Les Snead have hinted at using more “exotic” personnel sets, and while both Higbee, Everett, and now Hopkins give Los Angeles options, their staff seem to be a little higher on Everett. Tight ends coach Wes Phillips said Everett is “maybe the best athlete” he’s coached. 

If the Rams do take advantage of the riches they have at this position, it would give Everett a chance to expand on his role. If he can’t capitalize on the opportunities then his self-prophesying tweet could come to fruition.

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