Rams draft preview: Tight end

The NFL draft is set to begin May 8 and the St. Louis Rams hold 12 picks in this year's selection process. For the next week and a half, we'll take a look at a different position every day with what the Rams have in place at a position, what they need, when they might address it and some possible fits.

We continue the countdown with a look at tight ends.

In place: Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks, Cory Harkey, Justice Cunningham

What's needed: The Rams invested heavily in the position in 2013 free agency when they handed a lucrative contract to Cook. He didn't meet the lofty preseason expectations he created but was still the most productive tight end in franchise history. He should be even better with a full season of Sam Bradford throwing him the ball.

Harkey is the de facto fullback and designated blocker while Kendricks does a little bit of everything. Cunningham was a late-season pickup but one the Rams eyed all year and could well make the roster.

With that quartet in place, tight end is one of the few positions on the team where there's no obvious move to make in terms of adding a piece. The Rams lost Mike McNeill to Carolina in free agency but have high hopes for Cunningham. Perhaps they'd take a look at a tight end in the late rounds with one of their compensatory picks as a possible eventual Kendricks replacement. Kendricks is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after 2014.

Possible fits: North Carolina's Eric Ebron is the top prospect in the draft but probably a bit too repetitive with Cook for the Rams to consider early in the first round where he is expected to go. It's a solid tight end class later in the first and into the second round with players like Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Texas Tech's Jace Amaro, among others. Some late-round options that could be appealing include Tennessee State's A.C. Leonard, Missouri Western's Reggie Jordan, Massachusetts' Rob Blanchflower and USC's Xavier Grimble.

Verdict: Unless the Rams see a great value with a tight end in the late rounds, the guess here is that this position won't be addressed in the draft. The Rams do need to add a few bodies at tight end to get through training camp and the preseason but they could probably do that without having to use a draft pick. They do have 12 picks and if they keep all of those choices or add more through trade, maybe the odds of drafting a tight end increase. Either way, any significant additions here would come as a bit of a surprise.