DeVante Parker WR Lousville #9
Size/Athleticism: Tall, lanky receiver with smooth straight-line speed for his size.
Separation Skills: Long strider who can get up to full speed quickly. Straight-light speed isn’t quite elite, at least compared to smaller burners, but he can definitely take the top off the defense if they aren’t prepared for him. Footwork is decent, but he lacks the agility and explosion to consistently create separation on shorter routes. Needs to use his size to his advantage more, but he tends to shy away from physical play. Does not consistently shield defenders with his body to create a pocket to catch the ball. Inconsistent working the middle of the field—does not show great awareness and fails to adjust to the defensive positioning to ensure he creates a passing lane for his quarterback.
Ball Skills: Does a great job tracking the ball down the field and puts himself in position to make plays. Capable of coming down with the acrobatic catch. Consistently attacks the ball at its high point.
Blocking: Effort is lacking. Doesn’t really have the bulk to excel.
Intangibles: Continues to win with raw ability rather than refined technique. Lack of consistent development raises some questions about his commitment and work ethic that should be investigated by teams.
Durability: Missed game with an ankle injury in 2013. Suffered an ankle injury in 2013 bowl game. Missed first half of 2014 season with a foot injury.
Overview: Parker plays the receiver position with the same style as Randy Moss, and while he lacks Moss’ elite breakaway speed there are enough similarities in their game to consider Parker a first round prospect. He has the length and quickness in tight spaces to give him a large catch radius, making him difficult for defensive backs to contain even when locked in tight coverage. He tends to shy away from physical play which raises some concern and he may get shut down in certain matchups, but his upside is worth taking a chance on early in the draft.