Dynasty Draft Profile: DeVante Parker
March 31, 2015 | Chad Scott
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MSYD = % of Team Receiving Yardage
DeVante Parker never had a single season in which he produced 1,000 yards receiving or had more than 55 receptions, yet he’s currently the consensus 1.04 pick in rookie drafts.
I’m not knocking the prospect, but I am pumping the brakes – to an extent.
Parker missed the first seven games his senior season, but finished as strong as anyone. His stat line of 43/855/5 is impressive and in rare company to finish a season. In fact, since 2000, only nine other college wide receivers have hit those numbers – Tyler Lockett also did this season.
Perhaps even more impressive, Parker did so after recovering from a broken bone in his left foot – causing him to miss the first seven games of the season.
You’ll notice a nifty (*) next to his 2014 totals because during those final six games, Parker’s MSYD% was an incredible 51% while hauling in 50% of Louisville’s receiving touchdowns. I won’t extrapolate those stats into a full season, but it’s approximately 1 million for everything… give or take.
He’s an interesting receiving prospect and probably the safest after the Amari Cooper and Kevin White – but his ceiling is nowhere near a guy like Dorial Green-Beckham. I’m not so sure he’s even whiffing Breshad Perriman’s air up there.
And that’s a little terrifying for me.
I think Parker is a really good player and will no doubt be successful at the next level. Will that success justify his draft slot?
To be completely honest, Parker has everything I look for in an incoming rookie wide receiver. He’s tall, fast and produced at a high level, when on the field. When looking at taller/bigger wide receivers, Parker has been one of the more effective at getting off press coverage cleanly.
Here, against a top-five NFL CB prospect in P.J. Williams and one of the better press college cornerbacks, Parker easily gets off unscathed. He doesn’t make the play, but Williams may have gotten away with a hold…
Back from injury, Parker looks a tad slower getting off press coverage, but still manages to easily create separation for a nice catch and run:
Again, against press, runs a slant and makes a great catch showing excellent concentration:
Here he is pre-injury in 2013 – a touch quicker in his get off and probably what we should expect when the foot is 100% healthy:
Another bullet in Parker’s chamber is his ability to get downfield and make over-the-shoulder catches, demonstrating great hand-eye coordination and extension of the arms. At age 19 (2012), Parker looks like a seasoned veteran while having the presence of mind to finish the play for the score:
Again, Parker makes an over-the-shoulder catch look so matter of fact… these and plays over the middle – a safety’s dream hit situation. Parker clears the mechanism and makes these (and those) catches easily without morphing his arms into those of a T-Rex.
Parker has really good hands and concentration, as demonstrated above. His ‘no fear’ attitude is refreshing and his hands are stickier than the product you can buy at any of your local Washington state chronic shops:
I know I went overboard on the ‘Strengths’ GIFs, but to be honest, there’s not much to criticize concerning Parker’s game.
The major red flag surrounding Parker is his lack of career production. Playing with first rounder, Teddy Bridgewater, from 2011-2013, Parker failed to separate himself statistically from names like Eli Rogers and Damian Copeland (teammates). That is until he set the world on fire returning from the injury in 2014.
Parker isn’t elusive, either. He can take it to the house in space, but rarely did I see him break any ‘should-be’ tackles. He displays a nice repertoire of Madden jukes in his arsenal, but once a hand touches him, he’s down. For a bigger receiver, I can appreciate the agility, but I want/need to see more physicality.
He’ll turn 23 next January, so there’s not a lot extra girth to be added, but it can be and it starts with Leg day, bruh. I have hard time projecting future weight gain, but the more he can add downstairs, the better off he’ll be – I want to say “that’s what she said, but…
Lastly, blocking. Almost every college wide receiver isn’t great or even decent at run blocking so it’s not a major red flag. He’s better than Jaelen Strong in that department, though… so there’s that.
Overall, I really like Parker as a prospect, but I don’t see any reason to take him in my rookie drafts unless he falls outside the top five or six, maybe even seven. He won’t, so chances are I won’t own many shares, if any.
I really wanted to love Parker going into this, but his game reminds me of a Michael Crabtree, with a bit more explosiveness. It would have been nice to see him run the agility drills at the combine or his Pro Day, but since he didn’t, I assume they’re either 1.) Atrocious or 2.) There was no reason to knowing it could only hurt his draft stock compared to those who have excelled.
I don’t see a future #1 fantasy WR in Parker, but I do see a safe #2. If that’s your bag, by all means… but for me, if I’m drafting around the 1.04 slot, I’ll opt for a bit more upside. Do yourself a favor, if Parker is there and you’re on the clock, wait for the offers to come rolling in and take the best one to move down.
He might just end up being your favorite rookie pick you never even selected…