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Miami had to sweat through some anxious moments, but the Dolphins had one of the top 3 wide receiver in this draft fall to them, as Lousville WR DeVante Parker fell to the Dolphins at pick #14.


In Parker, the Dolphins get a 6'3, 209 lbs playmaker with very good hands and solid run after catch ability.  He also gives Miami that Big Body, Red Zone threat at the wide receiver position. 




DeVante Parker, WR
Height: 6-3 Weight: 209
Class: Sr Hometown: Louisville, KY
Prospect Rank: 12 Position Rank: 3




What he brings: He doesn't have elite quickness and struggles to separate from coverage on quick-hitting routes, but he's a legitimate vertical threat because he can create late separation with his good top-end speed, length, body control and leaping ability. He has good overall ball skills and was very productive at Louisville, particularly on deep routes.

How he fits: The Dolphins fill a need here and continue to add weapons, attempting to aid the development of QB Ryan Tannehill. Parker provides a wide catch radius and big-play target outside the hashes next to WRs Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills, who will likely line up in the slot.



Production 1 2011 (11/6): 18-291-16.2-6 2012 (13/3): 40-744-18.6-10 2013 (12/12): 55-885-16.1-12 2014 (7/7): 43-855-19.9-5
Height-Weight-Speed 2 Tall WR with a slightly linear frame. Solid thickness in lower body but can improve upper-body thickness and strength. Has very good straight-line speed for size. Long arms with average hand span.
Durability 4 In 2014, suffered left foot injury during summer practice that required surgery and kept him out of the first seven games. In 2013, missed Rutgers game with a shoulder injury. Left Citrus Bowl with ankle injury but later returned.
Intangibles 2 Son of Raneca Parker and former Louisville running back Anthony Shelman. Has improved preparation since arriving at Louisville. No off-field issues to our knowledge. Work ethic is good but not elite. Well-respected by teammates and coaches. Not an extrovert but gets along well with teammates. Can handle tough coaching. Education major.
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal


Wide Receiver Specific Traits

Separation Skills 2 Lacks elite initial burst but does a solid job with hands and longer frame getting off press. Not the most sudden athlete, and struggles at times to gain separation on quick-hitting routes versus top-tier CBs (FSU's P.J. Williams, for example). But he is crisper getting in and out of breaks on intermediate routes. Establishes initial leverage, and then uses his long frame to create late separation. Shows savvy setting up defenders. Good hand-fighter who uses subtle push-off to separate at top of stem. Above-average locating and exploiting pockets versus zone. Consistently works back to the ball on scramble rules.
Ball Skills 2 Ball skills are good but not elite. Dropped just two passes on eight tapes studied (from both 2013 and 2014). Focus seemed to improve in 2014. Shows ability to make tough over-head catches. Mostly high-points the ball and attacks with hands. Occasionally will body catch, but usually when ball is behind him. Tracks deep ball well and shows consistent ability to adjust while tracking over shoulder. Good body control and regularly adjusts to balls thrown outside of frame. Occasionally will fight the ball thrown below waist.
Big play ability 2 Deceptively fast because of long strides. Top-end speed is a notch below elite. Legitimate vertical threat with length, body control and leaping ability. Does a great job at creating late separation on deep ball. Very quick to transition upfield after catch. Lacks elite initial burst and not overly elusive in space, but can make first defender miss with sharp cut. Also kills pursuit angles with long strides when he catches some daylight. Production matches tape, as he averaged 19.9 YPC in 2014 and 17.8 YPC for career.
2 More consistent effort and production in 2014. After missing first seven games with injury, he played with urgency in each of remaining six games as a senior. Plays with swagger. Tough and doesn't back down when challenged. Short-term memory. Doesn't let a drop snowball. Willing to work middle of field. Sufficient effort and gets in the way as a blocker. Capable of sustaining longer at times.
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal




STRENGTHS: Excellent height/length body type with the frame to get stronger. Long-striding speed with natural lower body explosion to get vertical in a hurry. Shows multiple gears in his routes to set up defenders.

Quick-starter with the initial movements off the line of scrimmage to gain free release and stack corners, using field leverage to give him room to work down the sideline. Disguises routes well with a strong plant foot, selling his patterns with crisp footwork. Shows some shake in the open field with quick cuts to deceive after the catch and the vision to collect YAC.

Tracks the football and extends well to attack with a large wingspan and natural body control - usually reliable ballskills. Above average vertical with the leaping ability to hang in the air. Deceiving body strength and not a push-over, running tough and not allowing coverage defenders to slow him down in his routes. Tougher than he looks and not an easy ballcarrier to finish off. Confident competitor and won't shrink in crunch time. Frequent visitor to the end zone with a touchdown every 4.7 catches for the Cardinals.

Consistently productive in college and leaves Louisville ranked top-five in several categories, including career receiving yards (2,775) and career receiving touchdowns (33).

WEAKNESSES: Leaner-than-ideal frame and needs to add muscle and bulk. Good speed for the position, but can be caught from behind. Usually reliable hands and focus, but will allow the ball into his body at times and tends to have concentration lapses. Better with the ball away from his body where he can extend and attack.

Room to improve his footwork off the line to beat press and get into his routes. Needs to improve his coverage reads to better manipulate defenders instead of using the same moves each play. Will get himself in trouble extending his arms away from his body to push off - won't get away with that in the NFL. Willing blocker, but has room to improve in this area.

Durability concerns due to his lean frame and college injuries, including a left foot injury (Aug. 2014) that required surgery and sidelined him for the first seven games of his senior season, also missed one game as a junior due to a right shoulder injury (Oct. 2013).


--Dane Brugler

COMPARES TO: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals - Although he's not quite on the same level as Green, Parker is just a notch below with a similar athletic skill-set with the height and length to tower over defenders.





Parker missed the first seven games of his senior season with a foot injury, then caught 43 passes for 855 yards and five touchdowns in the final six games and was a second-team All-ACC selection in a vote by the coaches. He tied the school record for career touchdown receptions with 33 and had 10 100-yard games in his career. He finished his junior season with 55 receptions for 885 yards and tied a school record with 12 touchdowns, while starting 12 games. Parker played in all 13 games during his sophomore season in 2012 and led the team with 744 yards receiving and 10 touchdown receptions. His 10 touchdown receptions were the most by a Cardinals player in a season since 1998 and he had a touchdown in six straight games to end the season. Was rated the 26th-best WR in the nation by scout.com at Ballard high school (Ky.), where he was a two-time all-state performer. His father, Anthony Shelman, played running back at Louisville (1991-1994).



Consistently plays with outstanding body control. Soft hands and elite concentration are his calling cards. Credited with just three drops since 2012. Comfortable with a man on his hip. Maintains focus on downfield throws despite hand fighting and bumps. Daunting catch radius. Produces explosive plays without top-end speed. Works his way back to the ball and gets open during scrambles. Consistently high-points his catches and is a snatch-and-secure receiver. Recognizes when to adjust depth of routes over the middle. Has an innate feel for the position. Proved he could come back from injury and regain his form. Maximizes his catch window through body control, extended hands and positioning.


Linear and lacking ideal play strength. Has to prove he can beat a more physical brand of press coverage. Very average suddenness out of breaks. Routes are inconsistent and sometimes lack sharpness. Noticeably slower after returning from a broken bone in his foot in 2014. Quick-twitch corners could be his kryptonite. He was not put on this earth to run block.

Draft Projection

Round 1

NFL Comparison

Hakeem Nicks

Bottom Line

Parker does his best work when the ball is in the air. He uses his height and wingspan to consistently snatch anything that comes his way. Parker isn't going to overpower cornerbacks and he will have more contested catches than most explosive wideouts. He has consistently posted eye-popping yards-per-catch numbers during his time at Louisville and showed of solid athleticism at the combine. Parker has the potential to be a legitimate lead receiver for a West Coast offense.






ESPN’s Mel Kiper:
“The board fell right for the Dolphins. Parker would give Ryan Tannehill no more excuses. This is a kid with a tremendous catch radius. Reminds me a lot of AJ Green. Can be an outstanding go-to option in the NFL. What I like about him is he will work hard, he will block. Respected team leader. He brings talent. Brings great character as well." (link)


ESPN’s Jon Gruden:
“When you do it for two different offensive coordinators, that tells me something. He’s a natural. He’s a quick study. He has finishing speed. You talk about the catch radius; can cut the flight time down by two feet. Against tight coverage, that always wins. He’s got to stay healthy. He’s got to get stronger. That’s his only weakness. He has not been durable.” (link)


NFL Network’s Mike Mayock:
“Big bodied receiver [6-3, 209 pounds]. The thing I loved about this kid this year is he had a broken foot and only played in six games [but still] caught 43 passes, averaged 20 yards per catch. He’s one of the best run-after-catch big receivers I’ve seen in college football. He’s a special young man.” (link)


NFL Network’s Michael Irvin:
“I love this pick. He can go up and get the football. That’s exactly what the Dolphins need. They need that big guy that can go up and get that football.” (link)


NFL Net’s Charles Davis:
Parker’s “catch radius is ridiculous. Anywhere it is, he’s going to get his hands on it. He’s long, he’s tall, he’s aggressive. They are doing everything they can to help Tannehill.” (link)


ESPN’s Louis Riddick:
“He’s a guy who snatches the ball out of the air aggressively. [But] some of those contested catches he’s been out-physicalled at the point of attack. Making big plays, he’s done it in various different ways. He’ll be that outside threat and help out Jarvis Landry.” (link)


CBS’ Pete Prisco:
"I think this is a great move by Miami. They had to get a go-to receiver for Ryan Tannehill, and this kid is exactly that.”
Grade: A (link)


ESPN's James Walker
"The Dolphins got the player they were targeting for quite some time. Wide receiver remained a major need heading into Thursday night, and Parker has many of the tools to eventually become a No. 1 threat in the passing game. Parker is tall, fast and physical after the catch. He fits in well with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's scheme, which focuses a lot on short and intermediate passes." (link)


NFL.COM's Bryan Fischer
"Parker was some folks' top wideout in the draft and might have been a consensus top player at the position if he weren't injured his final season. The Dolphins liked Parker throughout the draft process and got their guy without giving anything up. That's a win."
Grade: A (link)


Pro Football Focus Khaled Elsayed
"There was talk of Miami trading up to land Parker so they win the award for sticking to the script as they stood still and let their man come to them. After trading away Mike Wallace it was imperative the team went out and added weapons so as to not hinder the underrated development of Ryan Tannehill, and that they’ve done when you couple Parker with Greg Jennings, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron.

We’re about as high on Parker as anyone. He’s not Amari Cooper but he is a more finished product than Kevin White and it somewhat underrated himself because his base stats don’t jump out and smack you in the face. That’s because he missed time, and if you look at his production on a per snap basis he was as good as anyone in the Power-5. Indeed his 4.21 yards per route run were the best of any in this draft class in that regard.

Miami dumped a headache and picked up a head-turner who will go up and get the ball if it isn’t perfectly thrown." (link)



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