PFF ranks Tyler Higbee among top 20 tight ends in NFL

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From top to bottom, the Los Angeles Rams have as much talent on offense as anyone. Their receiving corps is deep, their backfield features two dynamic runners, the offensive line is solid when healthy and Matthew Stafford is an above-average quarterback who should thrive in Sean McVay’s offense.

One position that shouldn’t get overlooked is tight end, where Tyler Higbee has been the top option for the last several years. In his last two seasons, Higbee has caught 113 passes for 1,255 yards and eight touchdowns, excelling as the team’s No. 1 tight end ahead of Gerald Everett.

Now that Everett is in Seattle, Higbee should see an uptick in playing time and earn an even larger role. Pro Football Focus ranked him as a top-20 tight end in the NFL heading into 2021, putting him 18th at the position.

Higbee’s red-hot close to the 2019 season didn’t carry over into the 2020 campaign. Over the last five weeks of the 2019 season, Higbee ranked third among all offensive players in PFF receiving grade (91.2) and receptions (43). No player had more receiving yards (522), either.

Higbee remained TE1 in Los Angeles last season, out-snapping Gerald Everett by nearly 200 snaps over the course of the regular season, but his production took a hit. Higbee’s PFF grade dropped nearly 20 points to 67.6 in 2020, and his 1.62 receiving yards per route run was nearly a full yard lower than his mark in 2019 (2.60).

Everett was ranked three spots lower than Higbee at No. 21, but both players should have strong seasons in 2021. Higbee will compete for targets with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson and others, while Everett has DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on his team.

Higbee shouldn’t be pushed much by the Rams’ other tight ends – Brycen Hopkins, Johnny Mundt and Jacob Harris – as he enters Year 6 in the NFL.