3. Donald Parham
The LA Chargers lost Hunter Henry to the New England Patriots and replaced him with Jared Cook. If you read my grade on the Cook signing then you know that I was not a big fan of this move. I personally do not see the team taking Tommy Tremble, who is the tight end that fans are now clamoring for, and after that there really is not anyone to get excited about.
In my opinion, the Chargers just pushed back the need to get a tight end one season and got a veteran who is going to mediocre in 2021. This all changes if Cook is good next season, but all signs are pointing to him not being as good as expected.
Yes, his numbers overall over the last three years are better than Henry’s. However, if you look at those same numbers you will realize that they are regressing. And if you watch Cook’s week-by-week tape last year, you will notice that age is catching up to him.
But I digress.
The tight end that benefits the most from this is Donald Parham, who is going to be more than just a redzone target in 2021. Parham got a bigger role the last two weeks of the season with Henry on the COVID-19 list and should continue seeing his role increase in 2021.
Cook is still going to get the lion’s share of snaps but because of his age and likely regression we should expect Parham to get more playing time as well. And perhaps if he is good enough the Chargers would have found their tight end solution on the roster.
Personally, I am not ready to crown Parham as a fitting TE1 to replace Henry; he needs to show me more. He is not a good blocker and the sample size is small.
That could all change in 2021, though.