The Los Angeles Rams had an interesting plan for the 2020 NFL draft, but it all seems to be coming together as Sean McVay and the offense is about to unleash a brand new attack this upcoming season. It may have shocked a good chunk of fans when the Rams drafted tight end, Brycen Hopkins, with the No. 136 pick in the NFL draft as they already have Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett on the roster, but the rookie could have a special role with Los Angeles. Hopkins may need to work on his run and pass blocking, but he does excel in one area, pass-catching, especially in the slot.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hopkins had a total of 543 receiving yards from the slot position as he can easily turn on the afterburners. It may not be as natural to have a tight end in the slot position, but it could be perfect as opposing defenses will have their eyes set on wide receiver Cooper Kupp especially in key third down plays.
Harrison Bryant joins a talented TE room in Cleveland pic.twitter.com/sN08Kur6gi
— PFF (@PFF) May 3, 2020
With the departure of both Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks, the Los Angeles Rams are changing up the offense and will be rolling out new personnel packages. Imagine a package where they have Hopkins, Higbee, and Evertt on the field as all three can change the offense. Hopkins without a doubt will be able to showcase his speed during the upcoming season as he was the fastest tight end at the combine with a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash. Hopkins could play that special role in the offense especially in the slot position and run upfield with ease. Just look at the separation in some of these videos below.
This is the 57-yard pass from Blough to Brycen Hopkins that set up Markell Jones' TD run a few plays later. Purdue up 14-7 in the 1st quarter. pic.twitter.com/X6TuQzZIfs
— atreya verma (@atreya_verma) November 3, 2018
Brycen Hopkins can work the seam as well as anyone. Smooth routes, stacks well and separates. Clean pic.twitter.com/QPr6Dwk3Yy
— Lorin Cox (@CoxSports1) January 24, 2020
Check this out from TE Brycen Hopkins.
1. Sells it as if he's going to the inside
2. Immediately break out and makes the catch.
— Usayd Koshul (@usaydkoshul) January 22, 2020
The tale is in the tape and even The Draft Network noticed how smoothly Hopkins can be as slot tight end.
Smooth, fluid route runner that runs and fairly advanced route tree. Easy in and out of horizontal breaks and his vertical cuts are seamless. I like his pace and lean throughout his release and stem. Does well to adjust and find soft spots in zones. Ball tracking skills are impressive, particularly over the shoulder. Makes his share of challenging grabs through contact in contested situations. Gives great effort as an in-line blocker and is deliberate with his technique. Brings the fight as a blocker on the move or when tasked with leading into gaps. Competitive worker after the catch. Outstanding production that improved every year in college.
Without a doubt, Hopkins is going to bring something new to the Los Angeles Rams. I would not be shocked if Hopkins lines up in the slot multiples times throughout the season and connects with QB Jared Goff on a long touchdown play. This Rams offense is heading into the 2020 season straight up SCARY.