DeVante Parker 2019 is still a major unknown for the Miami Dolphins
By Sean Moon
DeVante Parker is an enigma for the Miami Dolphins, he is the injury-plagued wideout that could be a superstar if he could only stay on the field.
DeVante Parker was a former first round, number 14 overall pick from the 2015 draft for the Miami Dolphins. Parker is a 6 foot 3 inch 209-pound wide receiver with 4.4 speed who has tremendous athletic ability, a giant catch radius and gives you glimpses of Pro Bowl potential every time he steps on the field.
The Miami Dolphins have had high hopes for this wideout, but unfortunately, DeVante Parker has had a tough time taking care of his body, which is making it tough to be productive on the field.
DeVante Parker missed four of his first six games last season and was rarely even used in the two games he was activated to play in. The young Miami Dolphins receiver found former head coach Adam Gase’s doghouse last season and some bizarre circumstances ensued shortly thereafter. DeVante Parker was supposedly finally healthy and ready to roll against the Detroit Lions but mysteriously was never activated for that game.
Former head coach Adam Gase following the Detroit game said,
"“Parker was not completely healthy yet,” adding, “We’re still working through some things.”"
This lead to some finger pointing and crude comments from DeVante Parker’s agent Jimmy Gould in which he called the head coach incompetent and a liar, among other things. This led DeVante Parker to try and smooth things over and Parker came out with his own statement contradicting his agent’s words or at least not claiming to agree with them.
It was largely speculated that DeVante Parker would be cut or most likely traded at the conclusion of last season. Instead, the former head coach Adam Gase and his staff were let go for what would become a complete restructure and team philosophy change.
So, now fast forward, new head coach Brian Flores and his new coaching assistants see the same receiver and the same potential as the last staff saw. Parker was signed to an extension with hopes that they can involve him in their offensive plan. A big athletic beast who can go up and fight for 50/50 balls. Sounds familiar, right?
Let me share a quote from Safeties coach Tony Oden because I think it resonates with every position on this football team and where this staffs head is at. Tony Oden said,
"Someone told me this a long time ago and this is definitely not a copout. He said you can’t go forward if you’re looking in the rearview mirror and those kind of things. Last year is last year. This year, we’re going to focus on where we want the guys to be this year. Everything is still early in the process right now. We’re trying to match our guys here to the new system and see how things shake itself out. We’re just going to go forward from that and adjust things to where they are today.”"
So how might the new regime utilize this big receiver if and a big if, he manages to stay healthy?
I think this staff will soon realize that DeVante Parker’s skillset is more than just a lateral deep threat. He excels at routes and knows where he needs to be and when he needs to be there. He is a quiet guy, and a smart guy. Parker understands how to use his size and leverage to position himself for success on the field.
There will most likely be a lot of moving and shifting on the offensive side during pre-snap, which in turn will allow a bit of confusion and rerouting to achieve space. Quick slants, quick outs with the occasional deep posts or flys are where Parker and his big gloves will succeed. DeVante Parker is big but has some solid handwork at the line and can get some YAC with his 4.4 speed.
DeVante Parker can block too, I’ve seen him get involved a lot for the running backs or fellow wide receivers and help open lanes for extra yardage. He is not one to shy away from contact and will go above and beyond for the team.
Recently DeVante Parker was asked about being on his third full time starting quarterback and how long it takes to get acclimated with him and he responded,
"“I don’t think it takes that long. You’ve got to be at the depth you’re supposed to be at and be there on time, just be in the right spot.”"
So, if this 5th-year wideout can get his training right, figure out how to strengthen his core and stay on the field, success is sure to follow. The Miami Dolphins will need this young man to finally show some consistency, develop some chemistry with whoever the quarterback will be and prove to this new head coach he is what they knew he could be.