DeVante Parker has changed his determination this offseason for the better. Him and the Dolphins are hoping that it results in a breakout season for the former first round pick.
The Miami Dolphins enter training camp with a very talented corps of wide receivers. Rookies like Isaiah Ford and Drew Morgan will look to leapfrog second-year wideouts Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant onto the final 53-man roster. That won’t be the only thing to keep an eye out for with this group, however.
DeVante Parker is entering his third year in the league, and although he is virtually guaranteed a roster spot, has a lot to prove throughout the season. Parker improved his numbers last year – 56 receptions for 744 yards with four touchdowns, from his rookie season, but the Dolphins are expecting more. The truth is, Parker has been somewhat of a disappointment since he was a first round selection in 2015.
The Dolphins coaching staff have pointed to injuries, and a lack of mental toughness as the main cause for Parker’s slow advancement in the league. Thankfully, that all looks like it’s about to change for the better in 2017.
Coaches have been impressed with Parker’s work ethic and intensity this offseason. Both head coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen have admired the change they’ve seen in Parker. Christensen even went as far to say that he expects Parker to have a “great, big year.”
The reports out of OTAs and minicamp is that Parker is the healthiest he’s been since entering the league. A lot of that is because of things that Parker is doing off the field. He’s taken it upon himself to take better care of his body by eating healthier meals and getting plenty of rest.
“I had someone cook for me a little bit last year,” Parker said in an interview last month. Sometimes athletes can be a little hard-headed when it comes to taking care of their bodies so it’s good to see that Parker is maturing some in that aspect. There’s no question that Parker has the athleticism to be a top receiver in the league, but at this level that’s often not enough.
The early praise has many believing that this will be a breakout season for Parker. One can simply tell by looking at his fantasy draft stock in preseason mocks. The same was said about Parker this time last year, but things appear different this time around. The key will be for Parker to remain healthy and refrain from any discouragement.
As Dolphins fans, we can only hope that this is the year that Parker finally breaks into his own. With Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills alongside, this could turn into a dynamic trio for the Dolphins for years to come.