Name: Gerald Everett
Position: Tight End
Pro Team: LA Rams
College Team: South Alabama
Draft Status: Round Two, Pick #44 Overall
- Height: 6’23”
- Weight: 239 Pounds
- Hands: 8 ½
- Arm Length: 33’’
- Bench Press: 22 Reps
- 40-Yard-Dash: 4.62
- 3-Cone: 6.99
- Vertical Jump: 37.5
- Broad Jump: 126.0
Gerald Everett has all the pieces need to be a fantasy football star. Relatively new to the position, Everett played more basketball than football in high school. When it came time for college he decided to take a chance on a lower division school. At Alabama Birmingham (UAB), he was able to display his athleticism and potential. Starting seven games, he caught 17 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown – this proved to be enough to get noticed. When the UAB program closed at the end of the year, South Alabama took him on and you can see the jump in production below.
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Table Source: sports-reference.com
Once in the Sun Belt conference, he earned back-to-back first team All-Conference Notice in 2015 and 2016. This is doubly impressive when you remember that had just joined the team and was still learning the position. He maintained a 14+ average yards per reception and held a consistent role in the offense from the moment he arrived.
Don’t be too afraid of his smaller school background, either. He showed steady improvement every year and his 31.7% College Dominator Rating (89th percentile) indicates he has the ability to translate it to the NFL. This holds true when we break down his share of the offense into yards and touchdowns.
His yardage production share is significant for a tight end. It’s also clear he was a powerful influence in the red zone. Through 2015 and 2016, nine of his 12 touchdowns, or 75%, came inside the opponent’s 20-yard line according to cfbstats.com. Everett quickly became a go to target for touchdowns in his first year at South Alabama. He was not only a go-to target but a monster in the most valuable area of the field – this is encouraging for the fantasy implications of his role in the NFL.
What you might not expect then, is that blocking is one of his best on-field traits. More than a willing blocker; he is active, determined and persistent when asked to perform the role. It’s important because pass blocking is a route to snaps, which in turns leads to more opportunity. An ability to block could also lead to a more consistent role overall with a higher snap count in the future.
However, with a Height Adjusted Speed Score of 103 (69th percentile,) elite level Burst and Agility, and a 10.91 Catch Radius (83rd percentile), his physical profile is that of a move tight end. A solid target, with significant after the catch upside, he could become a potent weapon and his pure athleticism could be his greatest strength.
Even though he is an amazing athlete, he is undersized for the tight end position at 6’3” tall and 239lbs. Everett also needs plenty of work on his route running. As a player with limited experience, he’s going to need a lot of coaching to refine his skills before and after the ball is in the air – this could prove troublesome as some of the catches he made due to his athletic ability simply won’t be available against tougher competition. Time will tell if Everett can become a more complete football player.
The LA Rams drafted Everett in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. This is a significant amount of draft capital to invest on a tight end. The Rams are in desperate need of playmakers and Everett should fit in nicely. Nobody was able to get more yards from the position than new Head Coach Sean McVay did last year in Washington and that bodes well for Everett.
Short Term Expectations
As with any rookie tight end, immediate expectations should be tempered. The step up from competition and level of play in the NFL is sharp. Coming from a smaller school and being inexperienced (even compared to players in his own class) cements the expectation for a long hibernation period.
The team has few established skill position players, outside of Todd Gurley. Tavon Austin has clearly shown himself to be no more than a gadget player even when he receives volume. Robert Woods, who they picked up this off-season, came into the league with an 18.74 (97th percentile) breakout age but poor college production. He has proven to be the below average athlete incapable of being a featured weapon he profiled to be. While he should be an interesting volume play in the short-term he is not a long-term solution for the Rams. Everett, however, seems like he could be a key part of a longer term answer on offense.
Josh Hill may be the best comparison, but even he is slightly bigger at 6’5” and 244lbs. Unfortunately there are not many names you’d like to hear, Everett is a unique blend of too athletic to compare with some and too small for others.
Some compare him to another former basketball player, Antonio Gates. Despite similar athleticism, Gates, of course, has much better size for the position, once again making it clear why so few compare to the future Hall of Famer.
Projected Range for Rookie Drafts
Ultimately, Everett dominated at a lower level competition with plus-sized athleticism. As such he is, at best, in for a longer development period if he can overcome his size. This is not ideal for a prospect who enters the league at 23 years old. He shouldn’t be a consideration in redraft leagues. But it’s a different story in dynasty. His upside is tantalizing if he can put the different elements of his game together.
I think he makes a good value play if you miss on the more hyped prospects from this draft class. Everett is the consensus TE4 across most sites. In DLF’s own Rookie ADP he comes in around 30th overall. This is slightly ahead of Jake Butt (who has more injury concerns and lower college production.) But he is also 20 picks below OJ Howard and David Njoku (both of whom he compares to athletically.)
Drafting a rookie tight end requires an investment of space on your depth chart and patience. If you have both, then Gerald Everett has the best balance of athleticism, college production, and draft position in the 2017 rookie class.