Lance Kendricks is a great fit for the dual-tight end system new Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels is installing for the St. Louis Rams, and that system is a great fit for the personnel the Rams have, given their continued lack of a number-one wide receiver for Sam Bradford. But NFL Draft grades aren't given without context, and it's uncertain given the way the draft's gone so far—and the way the Rams are currently set up—that Kendricks was necessarily a second-round pick or the next piece of the offensive puzzle.
For the Rams: What happened to the two tight ends the Rams drafted last year? Michael Hoomanawanui showed a surprisingly deft after-the-catch touch and proved to be one of Bradford's favorite targets when high-ankle sprains weren't keeping him off the field. And Fendi Onobun, one of the most physically gifted players on the Rams' roster—a tall, fast former basketball star new to the sport—is finally healthy after spending almost all of last season on injured reserve. Hoomanawanui is likely to start alongside Kendricks, but have the Rams given up on Onobun already? (Not to mention Daniel Fells, whom they seemed interested in retaining earlier in the offseason.)
Meanwhile—given the Rams' numerous problems, did it make sense to overdraft a tight end based on a perceived need when the Rams could have gone in so many other directions by just drafting one of the best players available? I'm not sure Kendricks is enough of a near-term upgrade on Fells or a long-term upgrade on Onobun to justify putting off upgrades to the team's defense for the later rounds.
Kendricks could emerge quickly as an important Bradford target, but it'll be hard to separate his impact from Josh McDaniels's. With a lot of questions still unanswered, this pick tops out at a <strong>low C</strong>.