Much like in 2014, the crop of wide receivers in the 2015 NFL draft is a deep one. With talents ranging from Alabama’s Amari Cooper, West Virginia’s Kevin White and USC’s Nelson Agholor, it was increasingly difficult to divine where they would all end up. But now we know where one such receiver will be playing football this year: Louisville’s DeVante Parker, who was selected with the 14th pick in the first round by the Miami Dolphins.
Parker joins a Dolphins receiving corps that also includes Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry. But despite the players ahead of him on the depth chart and the appreciable learning curve for a rookie NFL receiver, Parker should make his presence known in 2015. At the very least, his collegiate average of one touchdown for every 4.7 passes caught will make him a fast friend of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
In three year for Louisville, Parker caught 156 passes for 2,775 yards and 33 touchdowns and had a per-reception average of 17.8 yards. Parker missed the first seven games of the 2014 while recovering from a broken foot, but still managed to catch 43 passes for 855 yards and five scores.
A tough player with an impressive vertical leap and reliable hands, Parker can attack opposing defenses regardless of whether he is fighting for a contested catch or earning yards after the catch in space. There will be rough edges to polish—Parker needs to work on his blocking skills and does have a tendency to push off, something the Dolphins won’t have patience with for long—but Parker’s ceiling may be higher than any of the draft’s other top receiver prospects, making him a no-brainer pick for Miami in Round 1.
Photo: USA Today Sports