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Chargers Tight End in a Make-or-Break Year

The Los Angeles Chargers need as many playmakers as possible and tight end Donald Parham Jr is entering a make-or-break year
Waiver Wire Week One

The Los Angeles Chargers need as many playmakers as they can get. They bolstered their wide receiver corps by adding Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis. They are returning the all-star running back Austin Ekeler, but what about tight end? Gerald Everett will always be a solid tight end, but what about someone who can do it all? Where is the depth? Chargers tight end Donald Parham is entering a make-or-break year and could make a big impact.

Donald Parham Jr Faces Make-or-Break Season

Donald Parham Jr. is going into his fourth year with the Chargers, playing the backup tight end spot in all of his years. He has totaled 40 catches for 479 yards and seven touchdowns. On paper, that’s pretty rough for three years, but if you take into account his injury history, it paints a more vivid picture. Parham has only played in 33 of 50 possible games throughout his NFL career. Parham Jr. has shown plenty of flashes as a Charger, but his scary concussion injury and lower body injuries are worrisome, thus the former XFL tight end in a make-or-break year.


Donald Parham Jr’s biggest strength is his height. He is a 6′-8″ mountainous human being with the speed of a flowing river. He can stretch defenses vertically both with speed and general high-point ability. His ability to block has improved and impressed since his signing in 2020. He was once a liability in the area, but now is more than proficient. These skills make Parham an impressive red zone threat, using his ability to size out defenders, as well as maul edges in the short-yardage run game.

The former XFL product has shown to make plenty after the catch as well, not just the jump ball receiver. Throughout his career, he has averaged a little over 5.5 yards after the catch, this with only dropping two targets throughout his entire career shows his ability to be a great chain-moving, possession tight end as well. The Los Angeles Chargers found a gem from the XFL, and he has yet to fully show his potential.


With the hiring of Kellen Moore, expect a massive uptick in the running of 12 personnel. Moore loved using 12 personnel in Dallas with Dalton Schultz and Jake Ferguson. Look for Parham to take over Ferguson’s role as the #2 tight end in the formation. Donald Parham should increase an uptick in playing time due to this, leading him to show his effectiveness.

To continue with Kellen Moore’s offensive philosophy, Kellen Moore targeted his tight ends 130 times, over 556 pass attempts, which is 23.8% of the time. For reference, the Chargers targeted their tight ends on 17.7% of their total dropbacks. Although things won’t be the exact same as the Cowboys’ offense of 2022, this is a great baseline to go off of. This six percent uptick will directly benefit Donald Parham Jr, and I fully expect it to be more than a six percent jump. The Chargers are more inclined to air out the football with Justin Herbert under the helm, not Cooper Rush and Dak Prescott.

Will Donald Parham Break Out?

If Parham stays healthy, look for a big breakout season for the 6′-8″ mauler from Stetson. An increased target share due to a coaching change also is expected to go even higher due to the Chargers desire to throw the ball with the current highest-paid quarterback in the league, which will lead to a hopefully healthy Donald Parham Jr having a great season.

He recorded ten catches for 130 yards and one touchdown last season, just in six games. That was his most efficient year yet, and that was coming off of a brutal lower-body injury. This year, with a new offensive scheme that favors two tight end sets, a healthy off-season, and a two-year prove-it contract, look to Donald Parham Jr to be lights out in his snaps as a Los Angeles Charger this coming season.

Main Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea


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