Reports throughout the Dolphins’ organized team activities have indicated that Parker is looking healthy and appears set for a breakout this year. This year, Miami will definitely be looking for a breakout from Parker, and early indications are that he could be set up for that breakout.
Oh, I’m sorry. I wrote that in June 2017.
Parker has been a “breakout candidate” for three straight offseasons. His physical attributes alone are enough to provide nightmares for opposing defenders and defensive coordinators, yet a slew of injuries have kept Parker from realizing his potential. As we saw early last year, an injury free training camp and start to the season could be the only thing he needs to become a true number one receiver.
Again, I messed up. That was Justin Hier in May 2018.
It is now May 2019. Guess what that means? Yep. It is time for DeVante Parker to shine. During Tuesday’s Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice, there was a lot of talk about Parker:
Very interesting to see DeVante Parker leading the receiver position drills. That’s not normal. pic.twitter.com/wUp7j9sMYh— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 21, 2019
Dolphins coaches are really being positive with DeVante Parker. They clap it up whenever he does anything. Say nothing to anyone else. Clearly this staff is trying to build his confidence. Smart approach.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 21, 2019
Isaiah Ford and DeVante Parker: TDs in Dolphins red zone work— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) May 21, 2019
DeVante Parker caught a touchdown climbing the wall to get a high pass over the cornerback. He stared him down afterwards.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 21, 2019
DeVante Parker is having a nice practice so far.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 21, 2019
I’m not going to talk about how DeVante Parker is killing this Miami Dolphins practice— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) May 21, 2019
DeVante Parker is having a good day on the red zone. He previously was so ineffective in the red zone the last coaching staff stopped trying. pic.twitter.com/BmpFSfPu7b— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 21, 2019
DeVante Parker is having a good day on the practice field.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) May 21, 2019
Parker TD catch from Fitzpatrick.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 21, 2019
DeVante Parker with a red zone touchdown catch over Xavien Howard.— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 21, 2019
DeVante Parker is killing it today. Another touchdown, this time with a tough catch in coverage.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) May 21, 2019
DeVante Parker another TD. Fitzpatrick on fire.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 21, 2019
Top performers for week 2 of Dolphins OTA session open to the media: 1. CB Jomal Wiltz (INT and balled all day) 2. WR DeVante Parker (effective in red zone) 3. TE Mike Gesicki (TD during 11-on-11, active more than usual).— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 21, 2019
Seems like Parker is ready for a breakout season. He is dominating in OTAs. He is only challenged by cornerback Xavien Howard at this point.
And all of those statements are things that have been written before.
Parker has so much potential and can be something special, but it just has not worked for him so far in his career. He has yet to play in all 16 games in a season, with injuries a constant concern for him. He has 163 receptions for 2,217 yards with nine touchdowns in four seasons played.
In comparison, Jarvis Landry, who was supposed to be the slot/number two receiver to Parker, caught 400 passes for 4,038 yards with 22 touchdowns in his four seasons with the Dolphins, and he has never missed a game - including in his fifth season in the league after Miami traded him to the Cleveland Browns before last year.
Landry only averaged 10.1 yards per reception in Miami, so Parker’s 13.6 career yards per reception is clearly better than Landry’s, but Miami cannot keep him on the field in order to make use of those 13.6 yards per catch.
Parker showing improvement, flashing in front of a new coaching staff, and appearing to be healthy is a great thing for the Dolphins. The offense needs him to live up to his draft potential. But, those reports all come with hesitation, given how many times we have been here before.
Parker shines in May. He has to carry that shine to the fall.