The Miami Dolphins thought they had made a great selection when they drafted WR DeVante Parker in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He’s been o.k.
Parker has battled foot issues, hamstring issues, and while neither have kept him from missing a lot of time (only three games) he can’t practice like the other players and spends time on the exercise bikes instead.
In his rookie season, Parker missed almost all of the off-season work and training camp as he recovered from a foot surgery. A foot surgery that would have to have a pin replaced later in the year. Parker’s frustration is the same as the Dolphins frustration.
Speaking with members of the media and others like Luis Sung of PhinManiacs talked with some of the players and coaches at the kick-off to the Miami Dolphins annual golf tournament.
Parker is frustrated and rightfully so. He has been knocked at times in the media for not being able to get on the field and be productive. Thus far his career seems to be more or less a participant in the passing game and a decoy for the deep ball.
The issue however is that Parker has the talent, speed, tools, and body mechanics to be great in the NFL. He is hoping that this is the year he makes those strides. Parker says he has been working harder on his lower body rather than his upper body but does say that he works both. The emphasis now however is on his legs.
Offensive coordinator Clyde Christianson believes that this will be Parker’s breakout season. Parker himself agrees that it’s possible.
Parker could have a huge impact on the Dolphins offense if he does indeed “break-out”. Entering his 3rd season, Parker has seven touchdowns. Where he lacks production is in receptions. He has 82 for 1,238 yards. That’s average but Parker and the Dolphins want more than average.
Parker could open up an offense like Miami hasn’t seen since the days of Mark Duper and Clayton. Parker’s frame is perfect for the 20 yard slant or the fade. With Stills on the other side opening the middle with deep routes, Parker should be finding space or taking up space that will allow Jarvis Landry to work in behind the linebackers and Julius Thomas to find the seams.
Then of course there is the play action that helps build the rushing attack of Jay Ajayi. Parker needs to draw more than single coverage and if this new workout regiment helps, then the Dolphins will benefit. The good news is that Parker isn’t obvlivious to what he needs to do and the fact that he recognizes the problems is a major step in the direction of being great.