With the passing attack of the Rams offense struggling throughout the entire season (as stated in previous articles, they finished dead last in the league when it came to passing), all the offensive weapons in the passing game were affected, ranging from the wide receivers to the tight ends.
And while the fullback position was officially listed, it was a position the Rams did not frequently use for the sake of offensive production, and instead helping pave the way for key blocks for Todd Gurley, as well as the other running backs.
First, there was Jared Cook. The 28-year old tight end finished the season with 481 receiving yards, but did not catch a touchdown pass. He also struggled throughout the entire year with dropped passes and flat-out missing out on catching passes that should have been caught. As a starting tight end, it was a disappointing season for the veteran, who also carried the responsibility of blocking more often this season, as the running game improved.
There is also a big risk with keeping Cook, as he has an $8.3 million cap-figure, which is the fourth-highest on the team. The team is expected to see if there is a better option for a starter, if Kendricks can take the reins, or if they decide to trust Cook enough to give him another year.
Out of all of the tight ends/fullbacks, Lance Kendricks interestingly enough had the most productive season out of the bunch. In week one, he immediately made an impact when he scored the game-winning touchdown in a 34-31 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks. However, weeks later he dropped what could have been another game-winning touchdown catch, as the Rams fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 12-6.
Kendricks finished his season with 25 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
Finally, there is Cory Harkey. Border-lining between a fullback and tight end, Harkey was not used as a primary threat in the offense, and rarely had a target thrown in his direction (he only caught five passes for 26 yards, and was only targeted six times). He also did not garner a carry throughout the season, but helped provide blocks when called upon to do so. That being said, Harkey was undoubtedly the least productive of the Rams tight ends/fullbacks.
And as a group, these three did not play that much of a role within the offense, and thus, don’t receive a high-grade.
(Photo Credit: Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)