Fantasy Football Sleeper: Lance Kendricks
Many expected the Rams to draft a WR early, but they decided to upgrade their offense by selecting Kendricks, Pettis, and Salas in consecutive rounds. By selecting Lance Kendricks in the second round the Rams drafted a tight end with great receiving skills. He was picked higher than Da’Quan Bowers (#47 overall), which shows a significant amount of belief. Sam Bradford had a prolific connection with Jermaine Gresham at Oklahoma. Like Gresham, Kendricks should allow the offense to stretch the field, and in Josh McDaniels’ offense the rookie should be a staple for years to come.
Here is what I wrote about Kendricks before the draft, “First team All Big-Ten and Mackey finalist. Moves and catches like a WR, even ran a few reverses. Improved his 40 at his pro day running 4.50 after a 4.65 at the combine. Going to be the fourth Wisconsin TE drafted in a row. Listed at 6’3 245”. Translation, he has the pedigree and qualities to be a matchup nightmare for the opposition.
The New England Patriots used the two TE set last season with great success. The NFL is a copycat league and I expect many teams to do the same, especially when weak at WR. Kendricks’ speed should be highlighted inside the Dome, at home. Like Aaron Hernandez, he has a versatile skill set that the Rams should utilize in a number of ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kendricks lined up at receiver or split-out as well. He can go deep, has the route running to be featured in play-action, and the size to beat the defender to the ball.
The Rams have a few other TEs … Michael Hoomanawanui or Illinois Mike, was a rookie who I really liked last year but he missed eight games. They also have Billy Bajema who is primarily a blocker. Also drafted Fendi Onobun last year. Just letting you know he’ll have competition.
Josh McDaniels is the new offensive coordinator in Saint Louis and I can’t help but to think he was influential in the decision to draft Kendricks. New England has always valued the position and coming from the school of Belichick he probably feels the same. Although his TEs weren’t widely successful in Denver, “The Schef” had a couple nice games when called upon.
While the Rams starting wide receivers are anything but certain right now, one thing is clear: Kendricks should be an integral part of the plan. He should be the top rookie and a solid long-term prospect.
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