DeVante Parker compared to other Dolphins first round WR busts
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins have made some bad choices with their first round draft picks over the decades and DeVante Parker could be joining the list if things don’t change.
There isn’t a lot to compare DeVante Parker to when it comes to draft pick pedigree and busting out of the league. Or even just Miami. The Dolphins have only drafted five first round wide-receivers in their history.
Parker who had a horrible practice on Sunday sat out today’s practice with what is being called a “jammed finger”. The nagging little injuries over the past three years have kept Parker from practicing, playing, and simply feeling like he is 100%.
One knock on Parker is that he allows the little injuries to bother him. If that is true then it is a mental issue for him and he can’t seem to shake it. Drafted in the first round three seasons ago, Parker was supposed to be a top elite receiver like Julio Jones and A.J. Green. At minimum a second tier elite type. He has not come close.
Just how bad has it been? In 2015, his rookie season, he caught 26 balls for 494 yards in the 15 games he was active. Parker entered the league needing surgery on his foot so the rookie season issues were not unexpected.
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In 2016 he was supposed to be ready to go but nagging issues again saw him start only eight games of the 15 he was active. He caught 56 passes on 87 targets for 744 yards. Last year? 57 receptions on 96 targets for 670 yards. Combined through three seasons, Parker has a total of eight touchdowns. Not exactly what Miami had to be expecting.
Of the other receivers drafted in round one, we can remove the name of O.J. McDuffie. McDuffie is by far the best WR drafted by the Dolphins in the first round and arguably one of the best wide-receivers drafted in any round. There simply is no comparing DeVante Parker to McDuffie.
Here is a look at the other receivers drafted in round one by the Dolphins.
Ted Ginn, Jr.
No matter what Ginn, Jr. ever does the name alone brings a sense of dread to Dolphins fans. In fact, the name can’t be said without hearing, “…the whole Ginn family.” But here is the rub. Despite his failures in Miami, Ginn has had a pretty decent career in the NFL. In fact he is still playing entering his 11th season. He has even played in a Super Bowl.
Ginn’s career in Miami was short. Bill Parcells got rid of him after his third season with the team. A similar fate could be in store for Parker. In his three seasons with Miami, Ginn had 1,664 yards on 128 receptions with five touchdowns.
Ginn remains one of the bigger busts in Dolphins history but…he may end up with a longer NFL career than Parker at the rate Parker is going.
This is going to be a short story on Green. Many fans likely don’t remember him. A top receiver out of college, Green had the skill set and the speed to be a terrific NFL receiver. Some believed that the addition of Green was going to help bring the Dolphins back to offensive dominance.
Unfortunately two things went against Green. One, he tore his ACL in training camp and missed his entire rookie season, and two, medical care for ACL’s was nothing like it is today. Green played sparingly in his 2nd season but couldn’t recover fully from his knee injury. He played one NFL season and that wasn’t even a full season.
Randall “Thrill” Hill
Another speed burning receiver that had a rough early go of it. Hill started his NFL career holding out for what amounted to an eventual $2 million contract. He missed almost all of training camp and unfortunately for Hill, he played for Don Shula.
Shula never cared about why you were out of practice just that you were. When Hill returned to the field, he got no free passes from Shula. Hill’s first game was the Dolphins opening weekend of the 1991 season. He played that one game. Before he could get on the field in week 2, Shula traded him to the then Phoenix Cardinals for a 1st round pick in 1992.
Hill would spend three seasons with the Cardinals and would actually return to the Dolphins for two seasons in 1995 and ’96 before finishing his career for one season in New Orleans. In his three combined seasons with the Dolphins that was actually two seasons and one game, Hill managed 33 receptions on 68 targets for 669 yards and four touchdowns.
Parkers’ career has already been better with the Dolphins than Green, Hill, and Ginn so he will not leave Miami as the worst bust at wide-receiver but Parker’s talent level is through the roof and it is an absolute shame that he can’t get it together.