3. Tyler Higbee
A fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky in 2016, Higbee has 36 receptions for 380 yards and two touchdowns over his first two seasons despite being active for all 32 possible games. Splitting time with 2017 second-round pick Gerald Everett last year didn’t help, but Higbee’s physical tools (6-foot-6, 257 pounds) and upside remains heading into his third NFL season.
The target share for Rams’ tight ends was not great last year (88 of 477; 18.4 percent). Then a split between three guys (Higbee-45 targets, Everett-32 targets, Derek Carrier-11 targets) left no room for one guy to stand out.
Tight ends thrived in McVay’s system when he was offensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins, so heading into a second season under him there should be increased opportunities at the position. McVay openly spoke about his desire to use more two-tight end sets after last season, while more recently citing Everett as a standout during OTAs. But a late-season trend in 2017, with Everett playing just 47 snaps over the final four games, may carry into an opportunity for Higbee this year.
A more balanced passing offense seems sure to be coming for the Rams this year. Everett is also a fit here, but Higbee is in a more urgent situation with a need to step up.