Advertisement

Instant analysis: Rams wisely going all-in on O-line with Jonah Jackson signing

Matthew Stafford isn’t going to be the Rams’ quarterback for the next 10 years but the front office is doing everything it can to prolong his career. After drafting Steve Avila in the second round last year and acquiring Kevin Dotson via trade before the 2023 season, the Rams are bolstering their offensive line and pass protection even more this offseason.

Not only did they extend Dotson with a three-year deal worth $48 million, but they’re also adding Pro Bowl guard Jonah Jackson on his own three-year contract. The Rams and Jackson agreed to a $51 million deal on Monday, the first day of the legal tampering period, giving Los Angeles one of the best offensive lines in football.

The Rams are gave out $99 million in base pay to their two guards, along with $66 million guaranteed. That’s a significant investment into the interior of the O-line, which will feature a starting trio of Jackson, Dotson and Avila.

It’s obvious the Rams are going all-in on their offensive line, and wisely so. Not only will it help prolong Stafford’s career and keep him upright for the next year or two (or longer), but it’ll also help build up on the remarkable year Kyren Williams had in 2023.

Williams will have no trouble running between the tackles with Jackson, Avila and Dotson leading the way up the middle. All three of them had run-blocking grades of 56.0 or better last season, with Jackson ranking 28th at his position and Dotson second. Avila performed much better than his 43rd ranking suggests, too.

The Rams began their shift toward more of a gap running scheme last year and that’ll continue with Jackson stepping in at left guard and Avila moving to center. They have the size and power to clear running lanes, while also being agile enough to pull around the line when needed as a lead blocker.

Though Los Angeles is known for its splashy and flashy moves during most offseasons, the Rams are making a concerted effort to fortify the trenches and become a more physical team. They’ll still drop back and air it out with Stafford, Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp, but the running game should remain one of the best in the NFL behind the offensive line as it’s expected to be constructed.

And for that, the Rams are smart.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire