With the 12th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft the New York Giants selected Odell Beckham Jr. And in an abbreviated rookie season he rewrote every record he could get his hands on. Oh, and temporarily broke the internet with three fingers.
But despite Beckham dominating every secondary he came against, the Giants' receiving corps still has more questions than answers. Victor Cruz is coming of a significant knee injury, Rueben Randle has been consistently inconsistent, and everybody behind them are journeymen. The Giants need another offensive weapon capable of making teams pay for paying too much attention to Odell Beckham. There just so happen to be three such receivers who could be available when the Giants pick in the 2015 draft. Could DeVante Parker be that weapon? Let's take a look.
- Prototypical WR size at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds
- Very long arms, more than 33 inches, plus a 37-inch vertical jump makes for a huge catch radius
- Fantastic body control. Adjusts to the ball very well while its in the air
- Good route running, and sharp cuts underneath
- Runs a full route tree
- Good long speed to get behind defenses
- Physical enough to fight through press coverage and arm tackles
- Comfortable catching the ball in traffic
- Willing run blocker
- Smallish hands (9 1/4 inches)
- Long stride eats up turf, but he needs a step to gather himself to cut downfield or he will round off his routes
- Missed time with a broken foot in 2014
- Willing (but not very good) run blocker
Does He Fit With The Giants?
If the Giants are looking for another weapon to compliment Odell Beckham and give defensive coordinators ulcers, DeVante Parker is right there with Amari Cooper at the top of the list. He is an advanced enough route runner to be able to step in and immediately contribute, and enough of a ceiling to give Eli Manning the best receiving tandom in the country.
Parker has the speed to get behind a defense, the size (and catch radius) to be a serious red zone threat, and the quickness to break quick routes for long gains. Also, he tracks the ball very well and shows remarkable body control to make the catch.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 9th overall
Mocking The Draft - 18th
CBS Sports - 12th overall
Draft Countdown - 13th overall
Draft Tek - 12th overall
You might notice that the BBV Big Board has Parker a bit higher than some others. That's because I, personally, have him have him higher than most other people. I have him rated equally with Amari Cooper and Kevin White in the "Elite" tier at the top of my board. Each of them brings something a little bit different to the table. Cooper is the quickest and the best route runner, White is the physical specimen, and Parker is somewhere in between.
NFL.com has Parker's NFL comparison as Hakeem Nicks -- 2009 - 2012 version, I'm assuming -- but I see something different. I think Parker's absolute floor is Rueben Randle (the better games), and his ceiling is A.J. Green. He has that smooth athleticism that makes it look as though he plays much slower than he actually does, but at the same time he can just go up and get the ball.
I couldn't bring myself to put Parker over Cooper or White, but I've seen enough to put all three on the same level and let team and scheme fit break the ties. And for the Giants, Parker would make an excellent partner in crime for Odell Beckham, Eli Manning a very happy quarterback, and 31 defensive coordinators sick to their stomachs.