The Miami Dolphins head into the 2017 season expecting a big year from wide receiver DeVante Parker. Going into his third season in the NFL, Parker is in the window to turn his potential into actual on-field success, especially as he appears to be healthy for the first time in his NFL career. What should the Dolphins expect from Parker, a 2015 first-round draft selection?
A player dedicated to making sure he is doing the right things. He is taking care of himself this year. He is eating right. He is practicing right - on his own and with the team. He is listening to his body and making sure he is not ignoring what it is telling him. He is using practice to prepare for games - not just going through the motions and expecting to be able to fully participate on Sundays.
“Just hydrating more, eating right and sleeping habits,” Parker said this offseason of ways he is changing his approach to preparation.
In other words, the Dolphins should expect a professional this year when it comes to Parker.
And, a professional Parker should make the jump from potential to performance.
Throughout the team’s offseason workouts, multiple reports have indicated that Parker looks sharp. His route running has improved, he is high-pointing the ball better, and he looks like a true number one wide receiver. Of course, the caveat remains that these are offseason workouts and not training camp, preseason, or regular season games. But, it is a positive step to see Parker able to go full speed in the offseason training programs. It was a great step to see him healthy and taking care of himself.
It was like a professional coming in to take his spot as a productive member of the offseason.
“He’s run fast every day where last year it was kind of up and down," Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said of Parker earlier this offseason. "One day you’d think you had a Hall of Famer and the next you weren’t sure if he was going to make it to the game. Just his health and staying consistent. I think his routine and how fast he’s played has been really, really different from last year. Last year, the reason was injuries; but it was still a hard target. If you’re a quarterback and you’re trying to build an offense and you’re trying to get your game plan together and you’re building it that he’s full go and then all of a sudden he’s not (there) or he doesn’t practice Wednesday, all of those things. So he’s been there (at practice), he’s been consistent and he’s been really fast. So that’s good news for Dolphins fans and Dolphins coaches. That’s good news.”
The Dolphins are expecting big stats from Parker this year. The biggest thing that they should be expecting, however, is something different - something that will lead to those stats.