The offensive weapon the Miami Dolphins drafted for quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the 2015 season is on the verge of making a huge impact for the team this upcoming season.
This past weekend, Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson met up with the Miami Dolphins quarterback, and Tannehill believes wide receiver DeVante Parker is ready to breakout in 2017.
“I am definitely encouraged by DeVante,” he said. “The growth he’s had this offseason has been huge. I saw it back in March when we were throwing. Just seeing him move, seeing him run, really run at top speed for the first time.”
No doubt DeVante Parker is a speedy receiver when healthy, he posted a 4.45 at the 2015 combine. But since being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, he has battled back from a surgery to replace a screw in his foot in his rookie year, and this past season dealt with a hamstring injury early on.
For Tannehill, coach Adam Gase, and the offense, having Parker at full speed is like having an italian sports car that’s finally working.
“I’ve said it before: We had a Ferrari with four flat tires. He had all the power, but with all the injuries – the hamstring, the foot – he never could really let loose and go. We’re starting to see that. We saw it all spring, how fast he is.”
Adam Gase was not a part of the regime that drafted Parker, and was highly critical of the wide receiver’s work ethic, mentality, and physical toughness in 2016, but he never doubted Parker’s talent. This offseason is the coach’s first time seeing the former 1st-round selection’s full potential up close, and he’s been pleasantly surprised.
Tannehill recalled a conversation with Gase on the team’s last day of minicamp.
“We were talking [that] Thursday with Gase, and he’s just like, ‘Is it me, or is DeVante really fast?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, he’s really fast.’ It’s just we haven’t been able to see that the past two years because he’s always been battling something. It’s been really encouraging to see him grow throughout this spring. We just want to keep him healthy because he’s definitely growing into a force.”
DeVante Parker is becoming a force to be reckoned with for the Dolphins, notably beating cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard for touchdowns this offseason. He has also made adjustments to his routine in order to prevent injury this season: stretching, hydrating, and eating the correct nutrition.
Come July 27th, Training Camp should be a preview of what fans can expect from Parker as well as the Dolphins this season.
Follow Mike Hernandez on Twitter: @FtBallMikeHern