Surely, the LA Rams cannot keep RB Xavier Jones out of the end zone now

(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams depth chart Xavier Jones
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Nose for the end zone

Whether or not you appreciated Malcolm Brown running for the Rams, you had to applaud his nose for the end zone. A running back who has light usage but who scores ten touchdowns in just two seasons is not missing many opportunities to put six points up on the scoreboard.

The Rams have a scoring dynamo that they red-shirted in 2020. That’s right, Xavier Jones was the college football’s top scorer in 2019. That didn’t earn him an invitation to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. It didn’t earn him an opportunity to hear his name called in the 2020 NFL Draft. But it did land him on the Rams roster, the Rams 53-man roster, and now, a role in the offense for 2021.

No, he won’t snap ankles, stop on a dime, or outrace everyone to the endzone. He’s simply very good at doing unexpected things that seem to thwart the defenders’ attempts to bring him down. A juke here, a change of direction there, and a race to daylight. He scored 23 rushing touchdowns in 2019 for SMU, oh and he did that on just 244 touches. A ten percent touchdown rate? Well, that seems impressive.

The Rams have a role for the big-bodied Jones this year.  While Cam Akers is 5-foot-10 and 222-pounds, he embodies an elusive style of running. He loves to hide in the shadows of his blockers and rush to daylight. He’ll have a ton of work at the featured running back for the Rams.  And Darrell Henderson is more of a speed-up-the-tempo runner than a pile mover.

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The endzone is where Xavier Jones belongs. He impressed All-Pro Aaron Donald in scrimmages as a rookie, and head coach Sean McVay as well. Defenses cannot keep Jones out of the end zone. Well, as long as the Rams don’t, that is. With Malcolm Brown gone, there is no real alternative. It’s why the Rams carried five running backs on the 2020 roster, after all