Louisville WR DeVante Parker** 6'2 1/2", 209 lb.
Left Ballard HS as 5th All-time in Kentucky HS history with 3,274 receiving yards
Rated the 77th best WR in the 2011 graduating class
2x All-State WR in Kentucky
1,793 yards (26.4 per catch!!) and 19 TD as a senior at Ballard HS
Dad is former Louisville RB Anthony Shelman
33 TD in four years
Averaged over 17.7 yards per catch for his career
43 receptions, 855 yards & five TD in only seven games (injury forced him out for six games)
2nd Team All-ACC (Coaches)
Graduated from Louisville in the Fall of 2014
Arms: 33 ¼"
Hand: 9 ¼"
40-yd dash: 4.45 secs
10-yd split: 1.59
Vertical Jump: 36.5"
Broad Jump: 10'5"
It's a shame that nearly half of his senior season was lost to an injury but he did plenty of work with the time he did have on the field. Parker proved that he's a ready-made, professional that can step in and be a contributing factor in a team's receiving game immediately as a rookie.
Some will ask where the production was in 2014. Well, his injury took away six or seven games worth and the quarterback situation was an up and down roller coaster all season long. But, even at that point, he averaged over six catches a game and well over 120 yards per contest.
Reliable and dependable, Parker can step in and catch 60 passes but the question, in my opinion, is whether he can be a next level difference maker (full field threat) or just a complementary piece (only succeeding in short to intermediate areas)?
"Both (Parker and AJ Green) have long, slender and flexible frames with excellent range tracking throws and also have the body control and leaping ability to win in contested situations" - Kevin Weidl, ESPN
What to like
--Explosive off the line on slants or inside routes (not sudden all the time)
--Good job setting up his routes with his footwork
--Works back to the football on outs/cuts/digs
--v. NC State he ran slant routes all day, used different subtle moves on same route to get open all day.
--Runs hard after the catch - quick screens, slants.
--Elusive with the ball in his hands
--Finds the football when it's in front of him and adjusts accordingly.
What needs some work
-- Needs to trust his hands a bit more - v. NC State on a hitch route, he went to the ground when he was wide open - bend knees, switch hands, snatch throw and make something happen after the catch
--Gets a bit sloppy on hitch or stick routes - tends to drift upfield - open lanes for DB break on the ball.
--Needs better understanding of when to high point deep ball - should've had a touchdown v. NC State had he gone up and fought for the rock.
--Doesn't get the separation down the field that other receivers in this draft class get.
--Didn't see him a ton of catches on contested throws - must improve battling for football at all levels in the passing game.
--It's clear when it's a run and pass - doesn't have quite the same "get-off" when it's a run
I still think that Parker will go in the first round, but watching him closely, I'm not sure he's ready made to be a bona fide, all-around receiver like AJ Green (mentioned above). He can excel on slants and intermediate routes but down the field, I don't anticipate him making a ton of plays on deep balls when he isn't wide open. In fact, he didn't make a ton of catches on contested passes all over the field.
He does a nice job adjusting back to the football and it's clear that he has a decent understanding of the passing game and his role in it. But, that element that would make him a top ten pick isn't quite there. That said, he's enough of a talent with a bright future that he'll land in the first round and satisfy some team/quarterback.
Take a look at DeVante Parker's football career at Louisville.