Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams are going to lean on plenty of new faces throughout a rebuilding 2023 NFL campaign. But there will be some familiar faces around, including the tight end room of Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins.
Hopkins was a Rams fourth-round pick — 136th overall — in 2020 out of Purdue. He’s played in 24 regular season games and three postseason games as a member of the Rams, collecting a total of 165 receiving yards as primarily a blocking tight end.
But perhaps 2023, his fourth year in the NFL, could see him breaking out into a larger role with the team. At least that’s what McVay could be hinting at after discussing some of the progress he’s made during training camp this season.
“I feel great about Brycen Hopkins. I think he’s had an excellent camp,” McVay said. “If you said, ‘What’s one of the bright spots of training camp?’ Brycen Hopkins is one of the guys that comes to mind right away for me. I think he’s done an excellent job.”
It’s unclear if these comments from McVay mean that Hopkins will take on more of a receiving role or if he’ll increase his snap count as a blocker. But either way, it seems that the 26-year-old tight end is making some waves in training camp.
Cooper Kupp and Higbee figure to be central pieces in the passing game, but there will have to be production from other places. That could be Van Jefferson or pass catching from the running backs, but Hopkins is another person that could see pass-catching opportunities this season.
He’s had a chance now to develop some chemistry with Matthew Stafford and it has made an impression on the head coach. Now, fans can watch to see if he can turn that training camp success into regular season results.
Joseph Noteboom limited to individual work
Rams offensive line play was a big topic of conversation last season, largely due to the injuries that plagued the unit. But Joseph Noteboom is expected to be a major piece for L.A. this season.
But he was recently held out of any non-individual work due to an undisclosed injury. While that may bring some concern on the surface, McVay assured that he’s excited for what Noteboom can bring to the Rams even though he will miss the remainder of the week of practice. Noteboom will hopefully return sometime next week.