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Getting to know TE Gerald Everett w/ Turf Show Times

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers added some reinforcements to a shallow position group this week by signing former Rams and Seahawks tight end, Gerald Everett. Everett is a former second-round pick of the Rams in 2017 out of South Alabama where he made waves as a playmaker who won with elite YAC ability and contact balance.

In the pros, he’s been that same player, but the volume of production just hasn’t been there quite yet. Although his receptions and yardage totals have increased each year in the NFL, he has yet to reach either the 50+ reception, 500+ receiving, or five-plus touchdown thresholds.

But maybe all he was waiting on was one of the best, young quarterbacks to throw him the football? That’s the opportunity he’s about to get with the Chargers.

To get to know the Bolts’ newest tight end, we reach out to Kenneth Arthur who currently heads out Rams site, Turf Show Times, but also spent a number of years working for our Seahawks community, Field Gulls.

Hope you all enjoy!

1.) How would you describe Gerald Everett as a player? What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

To be honest, I feel like he’s even kind of a hard player to break down (for me, at least) because he has always played less often than fans of the teams expected him to. Rams fans expected he could develop into a premium receiving tight end when the team selected him with a mid-2nd round pick in 2017 to pair with McVay, a former TEs coach. But I don’t think he ever paired that well with starter Tyler Higbee and he also never challenged Higbee for starting snaps, even though I think LA has always been open to an upgrade at the position. Seahawks fans may have looked at Everett’s build and athleticism and again expected a player who could come in and serve as Weapon 3 for Russell Wilson and that didn’t quite materialize. He got in on 75% of the snaps and yet Seattle’s strength on those snaps was probably more run-focused than pass-focused. To be basic, I think Everett’s strengths are that in some situations, he’s a difficult player to defend and will come up with a huge third down catch or red zone touchdown, while not holding the team back as a run-blocker. His weaknesses are related to any number of mental mistakes, drops, fumbles, and not making defenses pay for the fact that he is difficult to defend.

Everett is already at his ceiling, so if Chargers fans are ready to embrace him as a mid-level TE2, then there won’t be any disappointment. If there’s a thought that he could replace Jared Cook as a receiver, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I also think it’s important that both Shane Waldron and Brandon Staley have endorsed Everett to their new post-Rams teams and that tells me he’s a great teammate, locker room presence, and a solid player. Just not a great one.

2.) Although he was a second-round pick, Everett never quite earned a starting job and was overshadowed by Tyler Higbee. What made Higbee the better choice over Everett?

To some degree, Everett started behind the 8-ball and could never catch up. Higbee was drafted one year earlier and was not going to lose that starting gig when McVay took over in 2017. I mean, he would have had to do something to lose it, and that never happened. He’s not superior to the average tight end, he’s also above-average. This isn’t an offense that commands 2 receiving TEs, especially when Todd Gurley was the star, and where else was Everett to go? Since Higbee was rarely injured, Everett played the role that he played. In Seattle, he had a better chance to start and he did get increased playing time, but nothing was going right for the Seahawks offense for most of the year, Russell Wilson got hurt, and maybe one season wasn’t enough for him to establish himself as a starting tight end. Higbee doesn’t make those headscratching mistake and that’s another reason I think he never released his grip on the job.

3.) How do you see Everett fitting in the Chargers offense? Are there any traits you believe could be utilized better by this coaching staff?

I’d be interested to see if the Chargers draft a wideout with their first pick to take some pressure off of the other pass-catchers, including Everett. I’ll be surprised if he has a breakout season at age 28, but obviously Staley has a big role for him in mind. The Seahawks had two free agent tight ends this year and while Everett signed a two-year, $12 million contract, Seattle re-signed Will Dissly for three years and $25 million. What did the Seahawks like so much more about Dissly than Everett? Either that’s a huge error by Seattle, or it’s a sign that teams don’t view Everett as a starter. Consider him more of a “jack of all trades” with a low ceiling on any one skill, but a serviceable tight end starter who can block, do a little bit of receiving, but needs to clean up his mental mistakes.

4.) What do you believe Everett’s ceiling to be? Does he still have the potential to be a starting tight end in the NFL?

Think I got a little ahead of this question with my other answers. In my estimation, Gerald Everett is a TE2 who has benefited from the fact that it is getting expensive and difficult to find good starting tight ends. Look at how hard the Patriots overpaid for Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith in 2021. (No disrespect to Henry, he’s proven to be a good signing so far.) I don’t know how Tre McKitty looked as a rookie but I think I would have had higher expectations for him in the draft last year than signing Everett this year, if that makes sense. I think Gerald Everett is running out of “potential” excuses though. He is what he is.