Rams News: Sean McVay Has Big Expectations For Tyler Higbee In 2020
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee finished the 2019 NFL season off on a tear with his stellar performance down the stretch.

The Rams are essentially back to square one following a disappointing outing from the offense last year. As a result, head coach Sean McVay is now back to the drawing board trying to find a way to get this group back on track for the 2020 NFL season.

Higbee had largely served as the blocking tight end in McVay’s scheme to start his career until emerging as a bonafide option in the passing game for quarterback Jared Goff. It seems he could be poised for an even bigger role moving forward.

It appears McVay is envisioning a larger workload for Higbee in the 2020 campaign, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:

“He made a huge impact for us,” McVay said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month. “He’s always been a very important part of it and I think it was great for Tyler to be able to get the opportunities and then be able to maximize that.”

McVay added that the spark on offense, and Jared Goff’s improvement under center, could be attributed to Higbee’s efforts:

“You could see, as his production continued to just show up week in and week out, especially towards – it’s not by coincidence that a lot of Jared’s really good play coincided with when Tyler ended up playing really well, starting with the first Arizona game and then leading into those last five games, so we’ve got big plans for him,” McVay said.

There is certainly plenty of truth to McVay’s praise. Although Goff had largely struggled to find his footing, his rhythm started to come back once he utilized Higbee as a safety net toward the end of the season.

As a result, Higbee registered 43 receptions 522 yards and 2 touchdowns during the final month of the season. He also managed to make history by becoming only the fourth tight end to record four consecutive 100-yard receiving games. More importantly, his emergence helped pay huge dividends for Goff in the passing game.

McVay’s comments indicate that Higbee is poised to take on a complete role as both a blocker and pass-catcher thanks to the promise he showed with his complete skill set. Unfortunately, this could mean that tight end Gerald Everett could find himself as the odd man out after serving as the primary receiving option of the pair before getting injured in the middle of last season.

Higbee’s newfound role and the Rams doing their due diligence on tight end prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft means Everett could very well be made available for trade this offseason. The team has also been linked to Jordan Reed, who could be a backup to Higbee.