Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker is now a member of the Miami Dolphins after they selected him with the 14th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Following the selection Parker joined the media on a conference call and talked about everything leading up to the draft and the process with the Dolphins. This included the fact that he didn't talk to them as much as he did with other teams such as the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans, who expressed strong interest in him, according to Parker.
“I didn’t talk to them as much. But I know they really liked me when I came in on my visit. It was a real good visit. They brought me in like I was already part of the team, like I was a rookie. I just loved it. I’m just proud to be a Miami Dolphin and I’m looking forward to this season. I’m glad the Miami organization picked me to be a part of their family.”
On his visit, he said that they did short passes, memorized some formations and other film work in the classroom. When asked what the Dolphins are getting, Parker said that they will get a big, strong physical wide receiver who will do whatever the coaches tell him to do. Parker also talked about other attributes that he excels at, including his run after catch and red zone ability.
"That is probably my best attribute that I have. I believe I can get up field, north and south. I think my ability to find the football and to always come down with it. It is something that comes natural to me.”
Some may say that Parker isn't durable because of some injuries he has had over the past four years, including a fractured foot in 2014, which caused him to miss seven games. However, he dismissed that and said he's ready to go and will fight through whatever he needs to in order to make an impact.
“When I first came back it bothered me a little bit, but as I went on later in the season my foot felt 100 percent, so there were no problems with that. I just didn’t let it bother me. My team needed me. I just had to come and play and be strong, just fight through it, fight through the pain. It worked out in the end.”
Fighting through pain and other various things will be something that Parker will need to learn during the adjustment period to the NFL level. The good news is that he's already working on how to beat the more physical defenders that he'll see starting in just a few weeks.
“The defenders will probably be more physical and stronger than they were in college. I’m looking forward to that type of coverage and competition.”
He'll be helped along by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the other wide receivers already on the team. Parker said that he's looking forward to being a part of that wide receiver room.
“I think we’ve got a really good receiving corps. Just throw the ball to any one of us and we’ll do something with it. I know that he [Tannehill] has a strong arm and he is a very good quarterback. I’m looking forward to catching passes from him.”
Leading up to the draft, Parker was hopeful the Dolphins would select him because living in Miami was a dream of his coming out of college. In addition, he had been training there leading up to the draft. In the green room surrounded by his family on Thursday night, Parker saw that dream come true when his name was announced and he walked across the stage as the newest member of the Dolphins.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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