Tight end Dominique Byrd is one of the leading candidates to claim the Rams' starting tight end job.
Positional Preview: Tight End
Thursday, June 22, 2006
By Nick Wagoner
Perhaps no position on the Rams underwent as much change in the off-season as tight end.
After trading away starter Brandon Manumaleuna for a fourth-round draft pick and saying goodbye to team favorite Roland Williams, the youth movement at the position is underway.
Still, coach Scott Linehan has said he would still like to find a veteran presence at the position with the ability to be a top blocker.
Scouting Report: Brings good size and athleticism and has the ability to get down the field. A solid blocker with the ability to move out in the slot, work on the line or in the backfield. Excellent strength and willing to go over the middle.
Last Year: Had 33 catches for 468 yards and four touchdowns as a senior at Colorado.
Outlook: Will compete throughout training camp for the job and is one of the favorites.
Quotable: “I think he can compete to start right away,” Linehan said. “It is hard to guarantee that a guy will start right away; he has to earn a spot. We think he has the talent for it and he will be in the mix right from the beginning.”
Scouting Report: Fantastic hands with the ability to go get the ball in traffic. Could use some work on his inline blocking, but does well in space. Catches almost everything thrown his way and is a big red zone target.
Last Year: Finished with 29 catches for 306 yards in his final season at USC. Helped the Trojans reach the Bowl Championship Series title game for the second consecutive year.
Outlook: Will be right in the mix with Klopfenstein for the starting job and will be used with Klopfenstein in two tight end sets. Could also become a major target for quarterback Marc Bulger in the red zone.
Quotable: “He is one of those guys that have a niche,” Linehan said. “The red zone is something that he could be pretty good at. He is not a guy that will wow you with a big time 40-meter time; he is one of those guys that plays faster than his 40 time. This league is full of those guys. He is very nifty, he plays out in space, he runs routes like a receiver. He is an excellent athlete and has very good movements and can catch some neat stuff that other guys miss. I think that is the thing I like most about him, that he was a very good route runner.”
Scouting Report: A good athlete with speed and strength. Still a work in progress as he learns a new position. Played defense at Notre Dame before moving to tight end as a senior. Ability to be a difference maker on special teams.
Last Year: Played in three games and contributed on special teams.
Outlook: Should be in the mix and help out on special teams. Will continue to develop and compete for a spot on the depth chart after spending most of last year on the practice squad.
Also expected to compete: Aaron Walker, Rod Trafford, Jonathan Williams, Alex Holmes.
Come back tomorrow for a breakdown of the offensive tackle position.