2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Louisville WR DeVante Parker


DeVANTE PARKER- 6’3, 211- SR.

Among most NFL Draft experts, there’s little doubt that Alabama’s Amari Cooper is the top wide receiver prospect in this year’s projected draft class. There’s significantly more debate over who the next-best option is, and many believe that that player is Louisville senior receiver DeVante Parker.

Parker, who was Teddy Bridgewater’s top target in 2012 and 2013, has continued to be productive this season after deciding not to enter the NFL Draft as a junior. Despite playing in just five games in 2014 after returning from an injury, he was still the Cardinals’ top receiver this year, doing it with three different quarterbacks.

While Parker doesn’t quite have the big-play ability that Cooper possesses, he’s exceptionally athletic, combining great size, quickness, and route-running skills. He’s big and powerful enough that he can be a valuable red zone target, and he figures to be a legitimate touchdown threat week after week in the NFL.

There might be continued worry about the injury that caused Parker to miss more than half of his senior season, but beyond that, there’s little that’s up for debate in terms of his skill. Parker figures to be at least a mid-first-rounder who could move up the board if there’s an increased need at the position among the teams selecting early.

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  • POSITIVES: Has crushed any belief that his success was a product of his first-round quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, as he’s put up great numbers with three different quarterbacks in the five games he’s played this season (Will Gardner, Reggie Bonnafon, and Kyle Bolin); has been consistently productive for four college seasons; very good size; reliable hands; does a good job of making catches in tight spaces; long legs, great stride; crisp route runner; makes quick, efficient cuts; uses hands well getting off the line of scrimmage against defensive backs; extremely quick feet; nice endzone target, does a good job of running fade routes to the endzone sideline; a loyal player who, despite getting some projections as a first-rounder after his junior season, rejected the temptation of the NFL Draft and stuck with his Louisville teammates, despite losing both his quarterback and his head coach.

    NEGATIVES: More of a possession receiver, isn’t necessarily going to be a huge game breaker;  could stand to add some weight, lankier than most NFL receivers; with four years of college under his belt, not as much room for improvement as some younger draft prospects; there could be lasting concerns over the foot injury that caused him to miss seven games in 2014.

    2014 Summary: Parker missed the first seven games of the season with a broken bone in his left foot, so he hasn’t matched the production of his sophomore and junior seasons. With that said, he’s been very good when he’s been on the field, accumulating at least 100 receiving yards in four of the five games he’s played. He was particularly noticeable in the Cardinals’ loss to Florida State, catching eight balls for 214 yards, and also stood out this past weekend against Kentucky, making six catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

    Talent Grade: Mid-First Round

    Rams Role: Unless they sign a receiver in free agency, the Rams absolutely need to draft a receiver in 2015. They only have four receivers on the active roster right now, and though they’ll get Brian Quick back next season, they can’t be sure that he’ll fully bounce back following a pretty serious shoulder injury. In addition, Kenny Britt is a free agent, and Chris Givens done little to show that he has what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Considering the Rams’ needs at quarterback and perhaps on the offensive line, they may not be in a position to select a receiver in the first round. If they consider wideout to be a position worthy of a first-round selection, though, Parker would be a very desirable option.

    Film Watched: vs. Florida State (2014), vs. NC State (2014), vs. UCF (2013), vs. Miami FL (2013), vs. Cincinnati (2013), vs. Cincinnati (2012), vs. UConn (2012)