Should Los Angeles Rams Eye Roster Shakeup? Analyst Advocates Replacing One 2023 Starter

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The Los Angeles Rams major personnel changes are mostly settled now that the first waves of free agency and the draft are in the rearview mirror. But that doesn’t mean that the Rams are done making changes completely. The roster remains fluid in perpetuity.

PFF’s NFL analyst, Gordon McGuinness, believes the Rams should make one more offseason move to round out their 2024 roster; Replace Alaric Jackson.

Should The Los Angeles Rams Replace Alaric Jackson

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Of course, with PFF, McGuinness relies on their in-house scoring method to come to this conclusion, but he isn’t the first to suggest that Jackson is a weak link along the Ram’s offensive front. Several pundits even suggested the Rams use their first first-round pick in 8 years to draft his replacement. Here is McGuinness’ case for replacing Jackson.

“Alaric Jackson is in line to be the Los Angeles Rams‘ starting left tackle again in 2024. Jackson was solid enough in 2023, earning a 68.3 PFF pass-blocking grade in his first full year as a starter. There are free agents who could come in and compete for the starting job or, at worst, provide an improvement in depth.”

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Using that grade as a stand-alone metric for replacement is a bit of a red herring. A deeper dive into the Rams pass-blocking grade reveals that Jackson was the strongest of a mediocre unit. PFF grades the Rams as the 20th-ranked team, of which Jackson had the best grade. He did allow the most quarterback pressure on the team last season with 41 allowed but only gave up one sack in 16 games.

The case to replace Jackson is actually his run-blocking grade, which was significantly lower than most of the other starters. Kyren Williams averaged significantly fewer yards per carry when rushing toward Jackson’s gaps than to the right side of the line.

The Brass Tacks

The Rams have spent a significant amount of money securing guards Kevin Dotson and Jonah Jackson. They are spending 26 percent of the salary cap on the offensive line, 4th most in the league. Jackson only costs them $4.8 million against the cap this season, the fifth highest cap hit among Rams o-lineman. That’s far better than any free-agent option that is worth his salt.

There is a compelling case for replacing Jackson, as the Rams are going to be leaning into the run game far more this season. But if the Rams wanted to replace him, the draft was the better time to do so.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
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