Johnny Mundt in line to be Rams’ No. 2 tight end – at least initially

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For the last four years, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett worked in tandem at tight end with the Rams. They each had roles on offense, contributing as both blockers and receivers. But now that Everett is with the Seahawks, the Rams need a new TE2 behind Higbee.

Johnny Mundt appears to be the man for the job.

Mundt joined the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and has suited up for 41 games, making three total starts. His playing time has been limited to mostly special teams, however, and he’s only been targeted 12 times in his career.

He doesn’t seem like someone who’s poised to make a big jump at tight end, but he’s clearly ahead of Brycen Hopkins, Jacob Harris and Kendall Blanton right now, just based on the fact that he’s been held out of both preseason games.

Sean McVay indicated Monday that Mundt is in line to take on a bigger role this season behind Higbee, while the younger guys jokey for snaps as the No. 3 and 4 tight ends.

“Higbee does a great job being able to lead the way,” McVay said of the Rams’ tight ends. “He’s been a productive player for such a long time. I think he’s feeling good. He really battled through a lot of different things last year that that’s really a credit to his toughness and his resilience. Johnny Mundt, I think is ready to take on a bigger role. And then really guys are working to establish themselves behind those two.”

The Rams don’t need Mundt to be a receiving threat the way Everett was. They have plenty of options in the passing game already, from Robert Woods to Tutu Atwell. Harris is better suited for that type of role anyway, while Mundt is a better blocker.

His role will be larger than in the last four years but don’t expect Mundt to suddenly catch 40 passes and rack up 400 yards. He’ll be more of a complementary player contributing as an in-line blocker. That’s his strength.

But as the season progresses and Harris gains experience, he could overtake Mundt on the depth chart and become like Everett was in the last few years.