Daily Dr. Roto—June 11, 2018
Potential Bust Profile: DeVante Parker
There is an old football adage that says that wide receivers usually don’t figure out how to play well until their third season. Odell Beckham Jr. broke that mold years ago, so recent expectations have changed and wide receivers now have less time to figure themselves out at the pro level. In his 4th season in the NFL, Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker is still figuring out opposing defenses and has not reached his potential.
This is the year that Parker should have no excuses. WR Jarvis Landry has been traded to Cleveland, QB Ryan Tannehill is back at starter, and the Dolphins have found a running game with RBs Kenyan Drake, Frank Gore, and Kalen Ballage. So why is it that I still feel so murky when thinking about Parker’s ability to shine this year?
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It comes down to one word: dedication. Does Parker want to be one of the best at his position? We have not yet seen that type of drive from him. What often happens is that successful high school and college players don’t have to work hard at those levels because they are athletically more gifted than the other players around them. However, when those same players get to the NFL they soon realize that EVERYONE is as talented as they are. What separates the great players (like Jerry Rice and Cris Carter) is their willingness to work hard in the off-season to prepare themselves for the following year. Up until this point all we have heard from Dolphins camp has been platitudes about how improved Parker is but have never seen him get to the next level.
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The Dolphins have made quite a few offensive changes this off-season. They brought in Danny Amendola from the Patriots and Albert Wilson from the Chiefs. Both these receivers are smallish type route runners who find ways to get open. Ryan Tannehill should love throwing short to them as they don’t need a lot of time to get separation. The Dolphins also added TE Mike Gesicki from Penn State in the second round of the draft. Gesicki has 4.5 speed and is athletically cut from a Travis Kelce-type mold. All these added weapons will hinder Parker from being targeted excessively.
While I think there will be some minor overall improvement in Parker’s game, I don’t think that he will ever reach an elite level. At best he will be in the 70+ catch range and hopefully be a good red zone threat due to his size and outstanding leaping ability. I can see Parker having more value in TD-only formats as he won’t have enough receptions to be much more than a WR3 in a PPR league.
Projections for DeVante Parker: 72 catches for 976 yards and 7 TDS.
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