DeVante Parker   WR   Louisville

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
DeVante is the type of receiver who will give zone defenses fits. He is smart and reads defense well on the run. He understands how to sit down and make his numbers square to his quarterback. He is big and does a good job gaining yardage after the catch because of his balance to take hits and slide off them if the defensive player doesn’t wrap up when tackling. DeVante has excellent hands and has those big long arms and legs that allow him to play even bigger than his reported 6’3” size. He will go up and get the ball in the air and in the red zone, he’s such a weapon because he can use his body like a tight end to shield his defender from the ball. DeVante is a long striding receiver who was used a lot in the slot because of his size and tight end like speed. DeVante reminds me a lot of former Bengals receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh.

CONCERNS
DeVante is a poor route runner when he runs inside and most of the time he gets separation by pushing off his opponent. He is not explosive off the line and doesn’t get very good separation in and out of his cuts. In the middle of the field, he does most of his damage in the slot and not out wide unless he is running routes outside the hash marks. He needs a lot of work running routes against man-to-man coverage in spite of his size and his ability to catch the ball. He does a good job running a quick slant because of his size, but when hit hard, he struggles to secure the ball and will have to get tougher and stronger to become more than a complementary receiver. In his defense, inside the red zone, he can catch the fade and with an accurate quarterback will score a lot of touchdowns on that route alone.

BOTTOM LINE
DeVante is an impact receiver at the college level because of his size and not because of his speed or route running abilities. He’s a big slot receiver who struggles to run the route tree when he is lined up inside the hash marks. He has good hands and will go up and catch the ball, but throw the ball low and he struggles to catch it consistently because he lacks the true strength in his hands when it is being contested. He has the talent to be a #1 receiver, but he has to get stronger, run better routes and make all the plays -- not just the ones outside the hash marks against smaller defensive backs. DeVante seems to be happy catching a touchdown pass, but when you need to move the chains on those tough slant routes over the middle, he struggles to run the route consistently, get off the line uncontested and catch the ball consistently. When he can become more physical inside the hash marks and stop pushing to get separation from his opponent outside the hash marks, DeVante will become a hell of a weapon. But until that happens he will make some great catches outside the hash marks when his QB just throws the ball up against defensive backs. DeVante has been an impact receiver for his college team and has made impact plays, but at the next level he has to become more consistent running all the routes and not just making a big play when he is uncontested. Match DeVante up with a speed receiver and a good tight end and he can make a good living running routes on the outside and making plays over top of defensive backs. That’s a pretty good receiver for most teams, but not the type of receiver you build your passing game around.

Drew Boylhart
JAN/2015