Cosell Fantasy Film: DeVante Parker - 2019


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Cosell Fantasy Film: DeVante Parker - 2019

In this series of articles, our resident tape wizard Greg Cosell will take an in-depth look at some of the more interesting fantasy players for the 2020 NFL season. It’s a peek behind the curtain of the film room, as these are Greg’s raw, unfiltered notes he takes as he watches a player.

We’ve all struggled with DeVante Parker at some point. A first-round pick out of Louisville in 2015, Parker had only flashes here and there in his first four NFL seasons. But after a slow start, he really picked it up in 2019, earning himself a three-year extension in December. He’s now expected to be the #1 WR for the Dolphins, now and presumably into the future for Tua Tagovailoa. Does the tape show a truly improving player who has finally taken advantage of his natural gifts?

Film Observations

  • Parker stats: 72/1202/9 (16.7 YPR, 128 targets)

  • Parker lined up in multiple locations: slot to twins, inside slot to trips, #1 to trips, field Z (at times with movement), boundary Z (at times on back side of trips), and all three locations in trips bunch.

  • Through the early part of the season, Parker predominantly lined up to the passing strength of the offensive formation, which was almost always to the field.

  • As the season progressed, Parker started getting significant snaps at boundary X, out of multiple splits – his physical attributes and skill set profile him effectively as an X receiver.

  • Parker has excellent size, with the stride length and build-up speed profile to quickly eat up ground when he had free access off the line of scrimmage.

  • Parker showed the body control and hands to be effective on back-shoulder throws and contested catches.

  • Parker’s big body allowed him to gain position and make tough hands catches on in-breaking routes – overall, Parker is effective on in-breaking routes: slants, bang 8s, digs.

  • Parker spent a lot of time in plus split alignments to the field. He worked the sideline effectively with stop routes and comebacks.

  • Parker is more of a build-up speed route runner than a twitchy sudden mover, but there are very few 6’3”, 216-pound WRs who are sudden in their breaks and change of direction.

  • Parker is at times a little too upright releasing off the LOS against free access, which slowed his vertical stem.

  • Parker is much more of a size/ stride length build-up speed receiver than a route quickness/separation quickness receiver.

  • What stood out as the season progressed was Parker was featured with reduced splits when he aligned at boundary X.

  • Parker did an efficient job beating press man coverage when he ran inside routes. When he ran outside routes like fades and go routes, Parker showed a tendency to widen off the LOS and squeeze himself to the sideline.

  • Parker showed some physicality with his hands through his route and at the top of his route stem to create separation on timing routes.

  • Parker also showed the needed short-area quickness and burst to separate on slants – the slant was a featured route for Parker in the Dolphins’ offense, often part of slant-flat and slant-arrow combinations.

  • Parker was a vertical dimension not because he showed the burst and speed to get on top of corners, but rather due to his size, body control and hands to high point the ball and make tough contested catches – his entire game against the Eagles was a great example of that. He also showed it with a 22-yard reception against the Bengals and a 24-yarder in the second game against the Patriots.

  • Parker did an excellent job tracking fades and go routes, making the needed adjustments to make the catch.

  • Parker consistently made tough catches between the numbers. He showed excellent concentration and focus – that was a strength of his game.

  • While Parker lined up both outside and inside, it was evident as the season progressed that he was featured more as an outside receiver.

  • Parker ran an outstanding route off motion across the formation to beat top CB Stephon Gilmore against the Patriots in Week 17. It was a great use of the vertical stem to get Gilmore turned around – he gained 21 yards.

  • The Dolphins used Parker motion across the formation as a man-zone indicator against the Pats in Week 17.

  • Overall, Parker had an excellent game in his matchup with NFL Defensive Player of the Year Gilmore in Week 17: he showed it all with route running, physicality, and contested catches.

  • Parker profiles as a size/ hands/body control/contested catch receiver who can line up in multiple locations, but is most effective on the outside working both the middle of the field and outside the numbers.

  • Parker’s 2019 tape was impressive – It will be interesting to see how he is used in Chan Gailey’s offense.

One of the preeminent NFL analysts in the country, Cosell has worked for NFL Films for over 40 years. Due to his vast knowledge of personnel and matchups based on tape study, Cosell regularly supplies us with valuable and actionable insight and intelligence that cannot be found anywhere else.