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Sean McVay‘s impact on the Rams offense was instantaneous. They had the number one scoring offense in the league and vastly improved in every statistical category. Now in year two, the offense looks to get even better. They drafted running back John Kelly to take some of the load off of Todd Gurley. The Brandin Cooks trade gives them a potential deep threat and second-year receiver Josh Reynolds should get more touches, especially in the red zone. Perhaps the biggest reason for optimism is the improvement of the second year tight end Gerald Everett. If Everett can make the leap then there is no limit to how explosive the offense can be.

Gerald Everett was the first draft pick of the Sean McVay era. He was selected in the second round pick (44th overall). That was telling. It was obvious that the 2017 draft was all about rebooting the offense but the fact that the first piece in that reboot was a tight end wasn’t.

He didn’t have the most immediate impact however, that distinction went to third round receiver, Cooper Kupp. Everett only managed to catch 16 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns.  Tight ends typically have a hard time transitioning from college to the pros and Everett was no exception.

The book on Gerald Everett entering the draft was that he was athletic with the ability to thrive in open space. The knock was that his route running left a lot to be desired. Luckily he played in a system at Southern Alabama that didn’t require him to be a precise route runner.

The good news for Everett is that he came into a situation where he has a coach who made his bones as a tight ends coach. McVay’s offensive system in Washington featured a lot of double tight end sets where Jordan Reed would dominate. The problem McVay faced in his first season in Los Angeles was he didn’t have a Reed-like figure. Everett was a rookie and second-year tight end Tyler Higbee is a better blocker than a pass catcher. It also didn’t help that second-year tight end Temarrick Hemmingway was hurt all last season.

The offense primarily ran a package with three receivers, one tight end, and a running back. While that offense thrived, it is not what McVay would prefer to do. In the instances where Everett played he demonstrated flashes of what he could be.

And on this play, he demonstrated the ability to react quickly when a play breaks down.

Now that Everett has had a full season under his belt and a full off-season regimen he can make more of an impact. He should be integrated a lot more and if he does improve he can be the biggest “X-Factor” on the offense.

A big part of the Eagles success last year stemmed from their ability to stretch the field with multiple tight end packages. The Rams are one of the few teams in the league that can match that. Jared Goff having a tight end he can lean on is huge. The NFC is going to be a gauntlet next season and Everett can be the Rams Infinity Stone.

For opposing defenses, plays like this are the doomsday scenario. In open space, he’s the Millennium Falcon.

The Rams made a lot of noise during the off-season building what amounts to a super team. They’ve gone all in on adding marquee names to both sides of the ball and mortgaging the future to do it. Despite all of the headlines, it is possible that the biggest move they made in the Sean McVay era was the 44th overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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