Over the last two years Los Angeles Rams fans have anxiously waited for Gerald Everett to reach his full potential. While he hasn’t quite hit that mark yet, he has shown flashes and brings excitement into year three. This will be a big year for the tight end out of Southern Alabama. Will he live up to his full potential or will he be labeled a draft bust?
Everett didn’t have eye-popping numbers in 2018, but he did show improvement from his rookie year. The Rams tight end doubled his receptions from 16 to 33 and recorded a career-high 320 yards.
What’s encouraging however is that Everett saw a target increase in the second half of the season. After seeing four targets in a game just once in the first eight weeks of the season, Everett saw four or more targets in five games in Weeks 9-17.
Of course, last season, Everett’s highlight moment came in Week 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Rams trailing, 51-47, Everett caught what would be the game-winning touchdown from Jared Goff.
The now third-year tight end has moments like these, but needs to find consistency. Everett has gone 35 straight games without recording 50 or more receiving yards in a single contest, but if his usage continues to increase as it did at the end of last year, that streak could quickly come to an end.
Gerald Everett was a second-round selection in 2017 and head coach Sean McVay’s first draft selection. It’s hard to see him going anywhere in 2019. The only battle for Everett will be with Tyler Higbee as the team’s No. 1 tight end. If Everett can prove that he belongs on the field more often, he could take playing time away from Higbee.
However, this is a position that both Everett and Higbee have shared the last two years and that most likely won’t change going forward.
Three Plays on Tape
?"Gerald Everett caught over the shoulder…at the 10…tip toes the sideline…TOUCHDOWN LA!"
Listen to @JB_Long on the home of the @RamsNFL, ESPNLA 710!
(?: @NFL) pic.twitter.com/lpvf9iazJT
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) November 21, 2018
This is the play from the 2018 season that every fan remembers from Gerald Everett. Everett beats the defensive back right off the snap and gains a step and enough separation for Goff to hit him in stride for the touchdown. This play not only signifies that Everett’s number can be called upon in the big-time situations, but also shows off his threat as a receiver and ability to line up all over the field.
This is one of those plays that doesn’t get noticed because it’s an incomplete pass, but Everett has an ankle-breaking double-move here that leaves him open, but Goff just overthrows him. This play displays Everett’s ability as a route-runner and again his threat in the passing game.
HUGE play on third down from Jared Goff and Gerald Everett!pic.twitter.com/dFECANdrDE
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 20, 2019
Again, this is nothing special, but this is the NFC Championship game. As the season went on, Everett got more comfortable and that is on display here. He’s not thinking, he’s playing football. His awareness that his quarterback is scrambling and to come back towards the ball is a play that veteran players make.
Will he take the next step?
Fans know Gerald Everett’s ability and potential, but like Brian Quick before him, the third-year tight end just hasn’t seemed to put it all together on a consistent basis. Tight end is typically a position that takes longer for young players to develop, but going into year three, it’s now or never.
If Everett puts it all together, there’s little doubt that he can have 50 catches for 500+ plus hards and five touchdowns. That would be considered not only a breakout season, but a success and something to build on.
2019 Outlook and Role
Gerald Everett is the No. 1 tight end on this team. However, he needs to prove he belongs there. While Higbee is a solid No. 2, he’s not the top guy and Everett’s physical ability is head and shoulders above him.
In 2019, Everett needs to be able to take that next step and put a stranglehold on the No. 1 tight end spot.
Chances of Making Final Roster
Gerald Everett isn’t going anywhere. He was McVay’s first pick in 2017 and heading into year three, this will be a big year in determining where he stands on the team going forward. A trade is unlikely and cutting him outright is even less likely. The Rams will ride or die with Everett at tight end in 2019.