Mason Brodine, a former undrafted free agent heading into his third year with the St. Louis Rams, already took a courageous step for the best of the team this spring and made the transition to tight end from his former position of defensive line. Now, he’ll attempt to become one of the NFL’s ultimate ironmen and play both defensive line and tight end.
Brodine, a 6-foot-7, 284-pounder who played his college ball at Nebraska-Kearney, has shown some impressive athleticism during his two years in the Rams’ system, though he has yet to spend any time on the regular season active roster, instead spending the entirety of his tenure on the practice squad. If Brodine can successfully balance both offense and defense, he could be a valuable Swiss Army knife for the team, and his athleticism indicates that he can be a successful special teamer as well.
Ideally, Brodine would function much like the San Francisco 49ers’ Demarcus Dobbs, contributing on special teams while also being available as a blocking tight end or extra pass rusher when necessary. Especially since Brodine has experience playing both end and tackle, he could be an extremely efficient component of the 46-man gameday roster.
It should be interesting to see how the Rams’ roster makeup could be changed if Brodine makes the roster. They’ve carried nine defensive linemen for the large majority of the past two years, but if Brodine is available on both sides it may be easier to just carry eight and build more depth at another position. While even his extreme versatility doesn’t guarantee Brodine a spot on the team, it should definitely help his cause, and after two full years in the program, it’s about time that he got his chance.