Much of the attention goes to the players who are expected to headline the draft. However, teams are often able to find contributors down the draft board at a variety of positions.
Memphis’ Dylan Parham isn’t expected to be drafted particularly highly, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help the right team. Parham is a smooth pass protector and has starting experience at left guard, right guard, and right tackle.
The New York Giants are going to need a lot of help to rebuild their offensive line. Could Parham be an option for them?
Prospect: Dylan Parham (56)
Games Watched: vs. Mississippi State (2021), vs. Central Florida (2021), vs. Houston (2021)
Games Played (starts): 50 (11 in 2021)
Best: Pass protection, short-area quickness, agility, football IQ, hand usage
Worst: Play strength, run blocking
Projection: A guard with starting upside in a pass-first offense using Spread or West Coast principles.
(Parham is RG number 56)
Memphis’ Dylan Parham is an experienced, versatile, and savvy offensive line prospect.
Parham has started an impressive 50 games over the last four years at Memphis, making 28 starts at left guard, 11 starts at right tackle, and 11 at right guard. His experience is evident in his play, and he handles pressure from the defense very well. Parham is a calm, collected blocker who never appears hurried, panicked, or frantic in his play.
Parham is a very good pass protecting lineman, and did not allow any sacks (and just two hits) in 545 pass attempts over the course of the 2021 season. Parham has good short-area quickness and agility, with good movement skills to mirror interior pass rushers. He also uses active hands to control defenders and is a very good hand-fighter. Parham handles stunts, twists, and blitzes very well, calmly passing off defenders to his teammates, as well as picking up late pressure. He is constantly looking for work, and is active in helping his teammates if he can’t find anyone to block.
He typically plays with solid leverage, putting his naturally low center of gravity to good use. Parham has a reasonably flexible lower half, showing good knee bend and ankle flexibility. He has the ability to sink his hips and play with good pad level, as well as a wide base, which allows him to absorb power rushes.
Parham is a solid run blocker, particularly in zone blocking schemes. He does a good job of using angles to wall off running lanes, as well as working off of combo blocks to the second level.
While Parham is a good athlete in a short area, he slows considerably over any kind of distance. He opens his hips well when asked to pull, but can struggle to stay ahead of the play when he has to run any kind of distance. Likewise, he can struggle to get into position at the second level or as a blocker in space on screen plays.
Parham is capable of absorbing bull rushes by interior defenders, but he tends to need to give up ground to do so. His play strength seems very dependent on his leverage, and he can be overpowered when he lets his knees straighten and hips rise. He also lacks particularly heavy hands or explosiveness from his lower body, limiting his effectiveness in man-gap schemes.
Overall Grade: 6.8
Dylan Parham is an experienced offensive lineman, but he won’t be for every team. He projects best in pass-first schemes, to take advantage of his pass protection, and in running schemes built on zone blocking concepts.
Parham likely won’t be for everyone, and teams that want to focus on a power running game will likely want to look elsewhere. That said, his pass protection should be a good asset to have in a “quarterback driven league”. Parham is mobile enough within his range to mirror athletic interior rushers, enough strength to blunt power rushes (when he plays with good leverage), has good awareness to pick up blitzes, and the technique to deal with stunts and twists.
It isn’t fair to say that Parham is a poor athlete, but probably more accurate to say that he has poor range. He is a perfectly capable athlete for an interior lineman within his range, and flashes legitimately good quickness when dealing with pass rushers. However, he doesn’t have the speed to match that quickness and that can limit just how far he can move and still be effective.
Even if Parham isn’t able to secure a starting job – or at least not able to do so right away – his background at multiple positions could allow him to be a utility back-up for a team. The flexibility to have one player provide depth for multiple spots is very useful for teams, particularly when it comes to game-day rosters.
Teams might even look at Parham as a potential convert to center, or at least see if he can learn the position for emergencies.