Miami Dolphins: Get Ready For DeVante Parker
When it comes down to rookies, and the wide receiver core there isn’t much to complain about.
For the last two years, a lot of people haven’t been able to complain about how the rookies on the team have performed. Last season, the Dolphins drafted Ja’Wuan James and Jarvis Landry with their first two draft picks. James became a starter in his rookie season and one of the most important offensive lineman on the team. Meanwhile, Landry was an instantaneous starter, and this year became the first Dolphins wide receiver to have 100 catches and 1,000 yards in the same season.
Now, that the season is officially over, there once again isn’t much to complain about because this year’s rookie class hasn’t actually performed too bad. Landry’s teammate, and one of the people that he shares a locker next to is the rookie wide receiver, DeVante Parker. This season Parker was hampered by injuries that he suffered in college that slowed down his true NFL debut but it never stopped his production.
“People at home know I’ve been doing that four years at [Louisville]. So they know I can do that. It’s nothing new there. Down here, that was new. It’s new to them. By next year it shouldn’t be new anymore,” Parker said.
Now healthy, Parker looks like he’s the next person who’s going to have 100 catches and 1,000 yards in franchise history. Due to the injuries that Parker suffered early in the season, many people unfairly labeled him a bust and a waste of a draft pick. In spite of how wrong certain people have been about his game, Parker this season put together a very impressive rookie campaign that should get everyone excited about his development as a second-year player.
If you’re a defensive coordinator and you have to travel down to Miami Gardens, Florida to play in the 90-degree weather in order to play against the Miami Dolphins, then you’re secondary will have a tough time because they’ll have their hands full. If Parker can crack even a glimpse of his potential and become the dominant wide receiver that we know he can become then that only spells trouble for everyone else.
The New England Patriots had to find that out the hard way when they attempted to play against the Dolphins. The Patriots had no answer or the 6’3 218 pound 1st round pick from Louisville, Kentucky. Parker carved up the Patriots secondary for the first 100 yard game of his career has he finished with five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.
Additionally, Parker was used as the vertical threat that the Dolphins originally brought him in to become. Parker averaged 21.2 yards per catch and for the second week in a row had a long catch for more than 40 yards. It didn’t matter if they brought a double team or blanket coverage, his way because Parker was simply a better athlete than the Patriots secondary. That’s a sentence that will get thrown a lot in his career as well.
Parker represents the Dolphins future. He along with Landry will be the reason why fans will get out of their seats and clap and cheer with excitement. The blessing in disguise was the injury to Rishard Matthews because it forced Parker to get into the starting lineup and with the way that he’s playing it’ll be a long time (at least a decade) before he’s not with the starters. What’s even scarier about this offense is the fact that there is still much room for improvement.
In spite of having talented wide receivers across the board, Miami was below average in their passing game being ranked 22th out of 32 in net passing yards. Furthermore, they were also below average in passing touchdowns as they only had 24 passing touchdowns the entire year. Those numbers could skyrocket if quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Landry and Parker all grow together.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter@DJoumbarey.