After trading away tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Kenny Stills, the New Orleans Saints are now in the market for a wide receiver. A possible scenario is drafting one in the early rounds of the upcoming NFL selection process, which is set to kick off Thursday, April 30 in Chicago. Louisville WR DeVante Parker is an intriguing prospect with the skill-set to make an immediate impact with QB Drew Brees under center.
With excellent height, outstanding hands and a solid explosive burst, Parker also displays great body control and a jaw-dropping catch radius. Before QB Teddy Bridgewater was drafted in 2014, Parker was his top weapon at Louisville.
Parker missed a majority of his senior year with a broken foot, but still managed 43 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns — mind-blowing numbers for only six games played. He was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2014. DeVante Parker also tied the Louisville record with 33 career touchdowns.
"2013 JUNIOR SEASONHas played and started in 12 games overall… ended the year with 55 receptions for 885 yards and tied a school record with 12 touchdowns… his 12 touchdowns were tied for 10th nationally and led the AAC… led team and was seventh in the AAC with 885 yards receiving… recorded three 100-yard receiving games… tied a career-high with nine receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown in the Russell Bowl win over Miami… had career-best nine catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns in road win over No. 23 Cincinnati… finished with five catches for 71 yards and a score at UConn… had two scoring catches and six catches overall for 74 yards against FIU… season-high 134 yards receiving on five receptions and a pair of touchdowns against EKU.2012 SOPHOMORE SEASONPlayed in all 13 games… led the team with 744 yards receiving and 10 touchdown receptions… his 10 touchdown receptions were the most by a player in a season since 1998… had a touchdown in six straight games to end the season… had two games with two receiving touchdowns… finished the season with two 100 yard receiving games… hauled in a 75-yd touchdown reception to start second half of Pittsburgh game.2011 SOPHOMORE SEASONAppeared in 11 games… Led the team with six touchdown receptions… Finished sixth on the team with 18 receptions and fourth with 291 receiving yards… Had two receiving touchdowns at USF… Made a highlight-real 39-yd touchdown reception in season-opening win versus Murray State."
NFL Scouting Combine measurables:
Weight: 209 LBS
Arm length: 33 1/4 inches
Hands: 9 1/4 inches
40-yard dash: 4.45 secs
Bench press (225 LBS): 17 reps
Vertical jump: 36.5 inches
Broad jump: 125 inches
DeVante Parker could work to get bigger and stronger. However, possessing a frame with room to bulk up, he should have no trouble filling out. NFL.com speaks of Parker as an inconsistent route runner, who must also show more toughness against some of the more physical corners. Those are things than can be improved under the proper coaching staff.
With an incredibly gifted skill-set highlighted by outstanding hands (3 drops since 2012), the New Orleans Saints could without question use the talents of DeVante Parker. Marques Colston‘s production is noticeably in decline — a big man like Parker could do his best to fill those shoes in the future. Don’t be surprised if you hear his name called when Coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis are on the clock at the end of the month.
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