- Height – 6’3”
- Weight – 209 pounds
- Hands – 9.25”
- Arm Length – 33.25”
- 40 Yard Dash – 4.45 seconds
- Vertical Jump – 36.5”
- Broad Jump – 125”
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- A quarterback’s best friend because even when he is covered he is open.
- Amazing body control and ability to win at the point of the catch
- Great hands and supreme focus when the ball is in the air
- Very good instincts and feel for the position. Reads defenses extremely well.
- Huge catch radius and the ability to make one handed grabs on balls well outside his frame
- A little slim for his height which leads to some issues against strong defenders in press coverage
- Routes are less than precise and need a fair amount of work
- Doesn’t have much suddenness to him so he creates limited separation from quality defenders
- Injury concerns with a broken bone in his foot
Overall Skill Set
Parker isn’t the most athletic of wide receivers in this draft class. In fact, from a pure running and jumping stand point, he’s very close to Jaelen Strong. While that definitely isn’t bad, it isn’t near the top of this draft class. Parker’s straight line speed is decent, but he lacks that suddenness you see in the great route runners and the players who are dangerous after the catch.
Fortunately for Parker, that isn’t his game. He isn’t the kind of receiver who breaks the ankles of a defender with a great move and finds themselves wide open. He is the kind of receiver who is perfectly comfortable with a defender in his hip pocket, because Parker knows he can win at the point of the catch. Parker fits right into today’s NFL with the back shoulder throws and high pointing the ball in the endzone, because those are the areas where he excels. Maybe it is due in part to the cardinal on the side of his helmet, but he seems to have the concentration, hands and body control of Larry Fitzgerald. He doesn’t run routes like Fitzgerald, but at the point of the catch, there are some similarities.
One of the best things about Parker is he comes into Miami as close to being the number one receiver as a rookie can get. I’m sure the official depth chart doesn’t list Parker first quite yet, but it will soon enough. He’ll be starting week one opposite from Kenny Stills with Jarvis Landry coming out of the slot. Greg Jennings doesn’t have a whole lot left in the tank and will serve as more of a mentor role for the trio of young receivers. Parker will definitely get his share of snaps this year.
The biggest threat for Parker is going to be how his health impacts his ability to be on the field and refine his game. Parker needed to have a “clean up” procedure on his foot in early June, which means he is going to miss most if not all of the summer practices and most of training camp as well. A lot of what he needs to work on requires him to be on the field, so this could put him in a bit of a tough spot. While I still expect him to start week one, he might be a ways down the pecking order when it comes to the quarterback progression.
I’m not expecting much consistent fantasy production from Parker early in the 2015 season. Missing the summer before your rookie year is seldom a recipe for fantasy success. I still think he starts, but he’s going to be doing a lot of his learning on the field once the season starts. If he struggles to start, this might be a great time to send out some trade offers if his owner is panicking. I think the second half of 2015 will be when Parker finally starts to figure it out. I expect him to be startable in fantasy leagues as a WR3 around Thanksgivinig.
By the time the 2016 seasons rolls around, Parker will be the unquestioned number one target for the Dolphins. Assuming he can spend the offseason refining his routes and building chemistry with Ryan Tannehill, Parker should enter next year as a player with a WR2 floor and a middle level WR1 ceiling. I don’t think he’ll ever be elite, but he can be very close. I would put his ceiling around Alshon Jeffery.
I already mentioned Larry Fitzgerald earlier from a hands and body control perspective. From a build perspective he’s tall and lean, much like AJ Green. He is also great when the ball is in the air, much like Green. Where Parker falls short in terms of being compared to both of these players is he is much more raw when it comes to his route running and creating separation.
Projected Range for a Rookie Draft
In my mind, Parker is locked in as the fifth pick in this year’s rookie draft. We all know the top four players in this year’s rookie draft and while some people might try to make an argument for someone else at the fifth pick, I think Parker has that spot locked up in my book by a pretty comfortable margin. If I’m in the sixth slot and Parker falls to me, I’m sending someone a thank you card!