After quiet rookie year, Brycen Hopkins has golden opportunity to help Rams in 2021

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After quiet rookie year, Brycen Hopkins has golden opportunity to help Rams in 2021

A large contingent of Rams fans were surprised when Los Angeles selected a tight end in the fourth round of last year’s draft. Initially, Brycen Hopkins was a puzzling pick because of the presence of Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

But when you zoomed out and looked at it with a multi-year view, it made more sense. Everett was set to be a free agent in 2021 and Hopkins possesses a lot of the same qualities as a tight end. As expected, Hopkins didn’t contribute at all as a rookie. He suited up for just five games, played only two offensive snaps and didn’t catch a pass.

But heading into next season, Hopkins has a perfect opportunity to play a meaningful role for the Rams as the No. 2 tight end. Everett is a member of the Seahawks and Johnny Mundt is the only other threat to Hopkins’ playing time as the second tight end behind Higbee.

This will be a critical offseason for the Purdue product, needing to impress the coaching staff in OTAs and minicamp, assuming they’re held this spring. And then comes training camp in July, as well as three preseason games in August – which Hopkins missed out on last year due to the pandemic.

Like many others, Hopkins has been training hard this offseason and recently shared a video of his workouts.

View: https://twitter.com/itsbhop89/status/1382011688849920000?s=21

Hopkins is an athletic pass-catching tight end, as evidenced by his 4.66 in the 40-yard dash and 116-inch broad jump. He also showed good short-area quickness at the combine with times of 4.28 and 7.25 seconds in the short shuttle and three-cone drill, respectively.

But his hands were unreliable in college and he needs to improve as a blocker. Everyone knew about Everett’s receiving ability, but he was an underrated blocker, too, which was a big reason he played significant snaps behind Higbee in two-tight end sets.

Hopkins doesn’t need to catch 40-plus passes for 400-plus yards like Everett did a year ago, especially with how many weapons Los Angeles has on offense. But he does need to play consistently and show that he can be relied on to haul in passes when targeted.

Because when he does have the ball in his hands, he can be dangerous.
 
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dieterbrock

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05/06/2020 :
Snead feels Hopkins has the potential to make an immediate impact in the 2020 NFL season, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:
“We really like our tight end room right now, but we had him highly rated and felt like he could come in and carve out a role early but also later,” Snead said. “We didn’t have to make that pick, but sometimes when you make those types of picks, there’s an element of drafting in a microscope, but also with a telescope and you feel like, ‘Hey, the guy can make plays.’"

April 29, 2020 :
"The Rams have time to work out a plan for Hopkins, who’s a dynamic receiver and athletic weapon at tight end. But as of now, they expect to use him in what Snead called “exotic personnel packages” – something we haven’t seen much from McVay in L.A.

“But last year, Tyler, Gerald and even Johnny Mundt did a nice job for us at the end of the last year, so we traded back and Brycen was still there and we didn’t feel like we could pass up on him and definitely plan on implementing him in some of those exotic personnel packages,” he said.

1618435148866.jpeg

Career catches: ZERO
 

Merlin

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If the Rams don't like him they might target Brevin Jordan who is from that same sort of player tree that Hopkins fell from. Jordan is just a better version of him with the ball in his hands IMO.

Or shit maybe Friermuth falls to us and they take him. I'd be fine with lining up him and Higs as bookend TEs while we fucking mash the 9ers and hit them with 2 big targets over the middle. Friermuth is a nightmare for DBs too btw.
 

Rams43

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Hopkins currently falls into a category of fairly recent draft picks with ‘high potential’ but have yet to prove much, if anything on the damned field.

Obo
Lewis
Long

There’s still time, of course, but the clock is ticking.
 

Merlin

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Hendy too. Hendy was Snead's pick judging from the draft vid the Rams put out. I suspect Hopkins was similar.

Both might beast this year too who knows. But you can't bank on that.
 

dieterbrock

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I was thrilled with Henderson last year. Took a big step forward and IMO he's a great backup RB to have
Agreed! Who knows, if Henderson didnt have so many nagging injuries in his rookie year, he may have played well enough that they may have not drafted Akers. So I say it was a blessing... I was thrilled with Hendy last year as well and think our RB stable is pretty sick!
 

Elmgrovegnome

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Hopkins currently falls into a category of fairly recent draft picks with ‘high potential’ but have yet to prove much, if anything on the damned field.

Obo
Lewis
Long

There’s still time, of course, but the clock is ticking.

OBO played well when he was healthy. Lewis did too but his healthy snaps were few. I’d love a fully healthy season from both. Same for Henderson. Obo and Henderson looked very good in the first few games.

Long, has just been a disappointment for as early as he was picked. I fear Hopkins is going to be the same.

Snead still loves freak athletes. They talk a lot about football players who are smart and are leaders, but the athlete seems to take precedence. I’m not sure it’s always the main factor to be considered. For instance, health, durability and toughness are a few factors that I’d like to see weighted just as much. A bit more toughness from Reynolds and Everett and the Rams maybe go a bit farther in recent years. More durability from Obo, and Henderson or health for Lewis and maybe those players put the Rams over the top. When players aren’t on the field it feels like wasted opportunities, wasted picks. For as much as Snead hits on picks that can be tough to hit on he’s wasted some that I’d expect good contributions from. I hope Hopkins isn’t one of those. Zero catches in year one is disappointing to say the least.

Hopkins looks like a receiver. He’s not very thick for a tight end. His lack of blocking and drops in college are two things I would not have looked past. That’s the real reason most fans were scratching their heads when he was picked, and not because we couldn’t figure out, ‘why a tight end?’
 
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So Ram

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05/06/2020 :
Snead feels Hopkins has the potential to make an immediate impact in the 2020 NFL season, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:
“We really like our tight end room right now, but we had him highly rated and felt like he could come in and carve out a role early but also later,” Snead said. “We didn’t have to make that pick, but sometimes when you make those types of picks, there’s an element of drafting in a microscope, but also with a telescope and you feel like, ‘Hey, the guy can make plays.’"

April 29, 2020 :
"The Rams have time to work out a plan for Hopkins, who’s a dynamic receiver and athletic weapon at tight end. But as of now, they expect to use him in what Snead called “exotic personnel packages” – something we haven’t seen much from McVay in L.A.

“But last year, Tyler, Gerald and even Johnny Mundt did a nice job for us at the end of the last year, so we traded back and Brycen was still there and we didn’t feel like we could pass up on him and definitely plan on implementing him in some of those exotic personnel packages,” he said.

View attachment 44935
Career catches: ZERO

It’s called a Covid year & depth.Projection from a GM
are not the same as the HC.
Your talking about a Playoff Team.
How many preseason catches did he have ?
 
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So Ram

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Agreed! Who knows, if Henderson didnt have so many nagging injuries in his rookie year, he may have played well enough that they may have not drafted Akers. So I say it was a blessing... I was thrilled with Hendy last year as well and think our RB stable is pretty sick!

Yeah right!! Crazy talk. I think you were forgetting 2020. Gurley was the RB in 2019.Never saw Hendo taking those reps? BTW the O’Line stinks.
—Just like Hopkins.It takes time.

-If you look at Cam Akers who was only 21 years old taking over as the starting RB.RAMsey took a big hit at him in scrimmage.The NFL is a Man’s game. It takes awhile to get accumulated.HENDO is just getting started as as well. He had almost 700 yards.Same with Cam Akers who is the bigger RB.I think you’ll see some durability in Akers after this last season & playoff run.
 
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If the Rams don't like him they might target Brevin Jordan who is from that same sort of player tree that Hopkins fell from. Jordan is just a better version of him with the ball in his hands IMO.

Or shit maybe Friermuth falls to us and they take him. I'd be fine with lining up him and Higs as bookend TEs while we fucking mash the 9ers and hit them with 2 big targets over the middle. Friermuth is a nightmare for DBs too btw.

Man. Having a stud TE receiver... If that’s Hopkins or Higbee... or a draftee...

If Hopkins has developed, it changes our draft.
 

dieterbrock

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It’s called a Covid year & depth.Projection from a GM
are not the same as the HC.
Your talking about a Playoff Team.
How many preseason catches did he have ?
Zero catches
Zero targets
How many pre-season games did Jefferson have? Lewis? Fuller?
Make all the excuses you want but frankly using Covid as one is ludicrous.
 

So Ram

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Zero catches
Zero targets
How many pre-season games did Jefferson have? Lewis? Fuller?
Make all the excuses you want but frankly using Covid as one is ludicrous.

WTF - dude. Wake up!! It’s like all the Lewis injury talk.There are knee concerns,but the experience & team bonding he got were priceless.Just being out there & making maybe a season changing play was fun to watch.He has the offseason to prepare.I’ll use Covid as an excuse for Lewis not having to do to much & have an injury because of it. Perspective of 2020 last season moving into the 2021 draft.
—BTW Johnny Mundt is back.Blanton might be a solid TE fit to that group & at least challenge for a roster spot.
—Gerald Everett in Seattle will be a Top 10-15 TE in 2021.imo
Jefferson had a frustrating season playing behind Josh Reynolds.He learned a lot by that experience & will have only pushed himself more.
—Yeah - Fuller was a nice Les Snead find.I sure would have rather him than Bryce Hopkins.Same with Burgees.There are concerns with injuries in The NFL for getting that NFL experience that he got.

Jefferson & Hopkins dads both were Pro Players.

Lewis will have RAMsey watching his back.
 

Corbin

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It’s funny so many people have so much hope in Hopkins. Guy is nothing more than a filler at best.

Rams fans get obsessed with finding a gem from nowhere but this guy has shown ZERO potential and will blind themselves from reality.

He’s worse than Pead everybody was obsessed about a few years back.
 

Shuie3225

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If the Rams don't like him they might target Brevin Jordan who is from that same sort of player tree that Hopkins fell from. Jordan is just a better version of him with the ball in his hands IMO.

I'm a Miami fan and would absolutely love Brevin. He's a straight stud and will be an elite pro IMO. I've been seeing him mocked in the 2nd but if we can get him in the 3rd or maybe trade up earlier in the 3rd we should. He can't be stopped 1-on-1 and is an elite playmaker with the ball in his hands. As good as he was at The U he's going to be an even better pro.

Hopefully hopkins ends up being a good player but they're not in the same world when it comes to talent. Brevin Jordan was the #1 TE in the country coming out of HS..a five star recruit that chose Miami over Alabama and all the big schools who offered. I fucking love this kid and it wouldn't surprise me to see McVay draft another weapon for the middle of the field.
 
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Allen2McVay

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No idea what the Rams have in Hopkins.

Like OL Anchrum and Brewer, and WR Trishton Jackson and RB Xavier Jones, none have played in the offense. Not even pre-season games. Any speculation as to whether any of these guys will become contributors, or will prove useless is just that ... Speculation. It's not based on anything anyone of us has seen from any of these players on the field in Rams' uniforms.

Personally, I have high hopes for Anchrum. Why? He just looks like an NFL OL to me. Pure speculation.

BTW, the same applies to the young DL ... Copeland, Banks, Williams and Hoecht.

Posters can evaluate off college highlights but not off pro-tape because all these players have Zero pro-tape to evaluate.

I was surprised by the Hopkins pick last April because there did not appear to be any need at TE. However, the Rams had Higbee under contract and were headed to a tight cap-space 2021 when Everett was scheduled to hit free agency. And that was long before the huge dead-$ on the Goff trade.

Hopkins appeared to be a future investment for the likely loss of Everett. Mundt is a core special-teams-player and a good blocker, so he figured to be the third-TE. Barring injury, Hopkins did not figure to play in 2020. I recall a game or two when Higbee was out and Mundt was the second-TE; and thought that was not a positive reflection on Hopkins. However, it was just a game or two.

Should the Rams draft a TE, or make a move for a veteran like Zach Ertz, I would interpret that as an strong indication they are not confident in Hopkins. If they stand pat at TE, and only sign a couple of undrafted free agents post-Draft, I would interpret that to mean they feel pretty good about Hopkins.

Now, how good does Tremayne Anchrum look in a uniform?
 

Merlin

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He's definitely "McVay's type of TE." To date if you look at McVay's successes it's been one TE in Washington and he was basically a big WR who can iso the LBs and safeties. Everett looked cut from the same cloth but he was a dumb guy IMO, something just wasn't right with Gerald.

And I'll be honest that I don't like the "Big WR" type TEs. I like the classic, big and physical guys who can catch the ball then punish DBs instead of running by them. So the only TE who would have me doing backflips is Friermuth. If they take Jordan I'll cross my fingers but for my money I'd want a guy like Bavaro who DBs are like "Goddammit I gotta tackle this fucking musclehead" when they see him with that ball. Mentally players like that can wear down defenses.
 

Merlin

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I was thrilled with Henderson last year. Took a big step forward and IMO he's a great backup RB to have
"Thrilled" is a bit much for me. IMO Hendy's a role player at best because you can't trust the guy to be available and to produce tough yards consistently. He just isn't that kind of back mentally. He wears down in a game when the seams aren't there.

Akers is more that guy who will pound it and pound it then take over a game and bust big gainers as the defense gets tired. You rarely see that dude taken down by one tackler he's an absolute stud. So I'm eagerly awaiting some preseason games to get a look at Jones who hopefully has more of that too him than the requirement for consistent seams and expensive hair extensions.
 

Allen2McVay

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"Thrilled" is a bit much for me. IMO Hendy's a role player at best because you can't trust the guy to be available and to produce tough yards consistently. He just isn't that kind of back mentally. He wears down in a game when the seams aren't there.

Akers is more that guy who will pound it and pound it then take over a game and bust big gainers as the defense gets tired. You rarely see that dude taken down by one tackler he's an absolute stud. So I'm eagerly awaiting some preseason games to get a look at Jones who hopefully has more of that too him than the requirement for consistent seams and expensive hair extensions.
I really like Akers, and consider him the #1 RB but I also think Henderson is an excellent #2 RB.

Akers finished strong last season, with 86 carries over the final four Regular Season games, and then carried that-over into the Post-Season. He established himself as the #1 back. However, over the first twelve games of last year, Akers only had 59 carries; and Henderson was handling a bigger role until the final month of the season.

Think the Rams will need both in 2021; and hope they identify a useful third-RB that can contribute when called upon because I don't necessarily view Akers or Henderson as being 16-game-backs. Also think good end-of-depth-chart-RBs can be found in the final two rounds and as undrafted free agents. There's a small-school, productive RB out of Louisiana-Lafayette named Trey Ragas that fits that type of profile. Maybe Xavier Jones will fill the role in 2021.