DeVante Parker continues to make history.
The former University of Louisville wide receiver placed his name throughout the program's record book during his time playing for his hometown team. He did again on Thursday night when the Miami Dolphins selected him with the 14th pick of the NFL Draft's first round.
That selection makes Parker the first wide receiver taken in the first round in the program's history. Prior to Parker, Deion Branch, a Super Bowl MVP, was the highest U of L receiver drafted when he was selected in second round of the 2002 draft.
"I’m so happy for DeVante and his family," U of L head coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement soon after the selection. "This is a great night, not only DeVante, but for the University of Louisville football program."
Parker is the 12th Louisville student-athlete to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft – the fourth in the last two seasons. He's the eighth former Cardinal receiver to be drafted and the second by the Dolphins.
Mark Clayton was a second round selection by Miami in 1983, where he became a three time All-Pro selection while catching passes from Dan Marino. The other former U of L receivers to be drafted: Harry Douglas (2008), Mario Urrutia (2008), J.R. Russell (2005), Ernest Givens (1986), Clarence Spencer (1968).
AnalysisParker hauled in 156 passes for 2,775 yards and scored 33 touchdowns for the Cardinals. He should be one of the first wide receivers off the board on April 30. He has good size and long arms so he plays bigger than his 6-foot-3 frame. Parker gets off the line well and shows good deep speed. He’s also terrific in the air [36.5 vertical jump] and knows how to use his body. Parker is also smart and showed the ability to play and master three spots [flanker, split end and slot] at Louisville. Parker missed with first six games in 2014 with a foot injury.
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Despite missing the first seven games of his senior season while recovering from a foot injury, Parker still managed to lead the Cardinals in receiving yards and become a 2nd Team All-ACC selection.
"DeVante worked extremely hard to get back from his injury early in the season and dedicated himself to becoming one of the best receivers in the country, which was evident by him being the No. 14 pick in the draft," said Petrino. "I wish him luck with the Miami Dolphins."
For his career, Parker caught 156 passes (seventh all-time) for 2,775 yards (fourth all-time) and tied a school with 33 touchdown receptions. He totaled 10 100-yard receiving games, which is tied for the third-most in school history. He stands seventh all-time in receptions and fourth in career receiving yards and yards per reception.