5 2024 Rams who are better than the brochure, including that gnat, Boston Scott

That pesky giant-killing gnat, Boston Scott, leads a field of five LA Rams veterans in line for an outstanding season in 2024.
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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NInja IV: This skyscraper could solve Rams Red Zone pickle

Some may think that the Rams taking a rather aggressive step to sign former Seattle Seahawks massive backup tight end Colby Parkinson to a significant contract (three-years, $22.5 million) may have been a bit premature, but I suspect that the time was not reactionary at all. In fact, I believe that there is a bit of crazy advance strategy to the timing and to the player. How so?

While the LA Rams did have the emergence of second-year tight end Davis Allen to look forward to, his rise among the team's tight ends was only a partial fix to the position. You see, not only did the team face beginning the season without veteran starting tight end Tyler Higbee for the 2024 NFL season, but the team would not renew the contract of former tight end, Brycen Hopkins.

While facing a plummeting number of tight end resources for the 2024 NFL season, the team also has to come up with a solution to enable them to score in the red zone. The team lost to the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card Round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs by a score of 24-23, but failed to convert on any of three trips inside the Lions Red Zone. Just one conversion would have meant victory.

Enter 6-foot-7, 265-pound veteran TE Colby Parkinson, who gives the offense a huge target and massive blocker for the next three years:

Parkinson is the ideal clay for the master sculptor, HC Sean McVay. You can bet that the team got the endorsement of former TE Coach Shane Waldron before offering him a contract. So, why is Parkinson an under-the-radar veteran?

In four seasons, Parkinson saw action in 1,178 offensive snaps. But over that same period, he caught 57 of just 78 targets (a 73.5 percent completion rate) for 618 yards and four touchdowns. So he was tasked with blocking or running decoy routes on his other 1,100 snaps. The Rams love blockers, and Parkinson is superb at the task.

Of his 618 receiving yards, 261 yards were yards after the catch (YAC). That means that Parkinson churned out over 42 percent of his receiving yards as YAC. That is also a pretty impressive number. Finally, his four touchdowns in 57 catches means that Parkinson scores more often than seven percent of the time that he comes down with the football.

While a lightly-used rotational player in the Seattle Seahawks offense, Parkinson is a clear juggernaut after he hauls in the football. His blocking forte was difficult for the Seahawks to move past, but I suspect that the fun of placing a new toy in this offense will motivate Coach McVay to make use of Parkinson in a wide range of offensive plays, including a new chapter for the team's red zone plays.