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Rams Run Game Bolstered with Free Agency Additions of Jackson, Parkinson

The Rams started the free agency off on a spending spree that included giving former Seahawks TE Colby Parkinson a three-year $22.5 million contract and former Lions OG Jonah Jackson a three-year $51 million contract. Here is what you should know about the Rams two newest acquisitions…

Jonah Jackson

PFF ranked Jackson the 34th best at his position last season with a 59.7 overall rating. He only gave up two sacks and committed five penalties as well. The addition of Jackson does not mean that the Rams are moving away from Steve Avila though. In fact, Avila is more than likely going to slide over to center to replace Brian Allen. Center was Avila’s primary position during his sophomore and junior seasons at TCU.

Jackson played a key part in the Lions running game last season, with Detroit ending the year ranked fifth in the league with an average of 135.9 yards per game. His speed (5.23 second 40-time) helps with plays where the guard pulls as lead blocker. The Rams’ two weakest positions on the O-line last season were left tackle and center. With the addition of Jackson, the LT spot is the only weakness left.

Colby Parkinson

Parkinson was Seattle’s second string TE last season, playing in all 17 games and even stepping into the starting role for a few when Noah Fant was injured. Parkinson has recorded 50 catches on 68 targets for a total of 569 yards with four touchdowns in his last two season with the Seahawks, his third and fourth years in the league. He made a critical contested touchdown catch in the final minute of the Seahawks’ week 16 game against the Titans to help keep their playoff hopes alive.

At 6’7” and 251 pounds, Parkinson is a similar size to Tyler Higbee, who is 6’6” and 255 pounds. Parkinson is a bit slower than Higbee was at this stage in his career, with Parkinson’s 40-time from the 2020 NFL Combine coming in at 4.77 seconds as opposed to Higbee’s 4.63. I don’t think that Parkinson is a replacement for Higbee though, not yet anyways.

Beyond just his contributions to the passing game, Parkinson should also prove to be a helpful run blocker. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), he has been one of the best blocking tight ends in the league the last two seasons, ranking 10th out of 91 tight ends in 2023 with a 64.1 run block grade.

In his senior year at Stanford, Parkinson was All-Pac-12 second team and was even a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award for most outstanding tight end in college football. He was a red zone favorite in his Junior year, catching seven touchdowns in 13 games. His Senior year was his most productive though, recording 48 catches for 589 yards.


The additions of Parkinson and Jackson should provide a massive boost to the Rams run game, especially on any outside-the-tackle runs. Excepting injuries (knock on wood), the Rams have no excuses if the run game underperforms next season. The only issue I have with these additions is the contracts, as I think that the Rams slightly overpaid for both of them.


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