The Miami Dolphins selected wide receiver DeVante Parker in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. On Friday afternoon, he was introduced to the national and South Florida media. During the press conference, owner Stephen Ross along with Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum and General Manager Dennis Hickey spoke about how excited they are to add a player such as Parker.
“Hearing the fan reaction that I’ve heard so far that the choice of DeVante Parker was certainly one that was viewed very favorably,” said Ross. “We’re very excited because people who have talked to me over the last couple of months, that was my choice, I thought he would be great for the Miami Dolphins. DeVante, this is your show.”
Tannenbaum echoed Ross’ words, saying that they couldn’t be more thrilled to get Parker with the 14th pick in the draft as he had been someone they targeted throughout the entire pre-draft process.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the result to get DeVante Parker with the fourteenth pick. You run a lot of scenarios; you’re not sure which way it’s going to go. As I’ve said many times, the draft is just the next step and if we go back to February, and look at what we’ve been able to do with the addition of Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings, and seen the development of Jarvis Landry, we’re really excited about what we’ve done at that position.”
Hickey talked about how the draft is a yearlong process and they were fortunate enough that the board fell into their favor.
“The draft process is a 12-month process with a lot of people in our scouting staff and our coaches do an outstanding job. All of the people that it takes to go through to work with through the process to put the board together. Fortunately, our board fell to our favor and we were able to get DeVante Parker, a talented, athletic, fast and productive receiver that scores touchdowns. That’s what we wanted to add. We were very fortunate for him to be there.”
All three talked about the high character that Parker possesses. That’s because they did a lot of research leading up to the draft and were very pleased with the results of their background check on Parker.
“As we talked to a lot of coaches and even Lamar Thomas, who we all know around here, we talked to coaches who were at Louisville and formerly at Louisville they just raved about DeVante’s competitiveness, his love for the game, his passion, his dedication for it,” Hickey said. “They always talked about how he was a guy from the time he came on there, saying he was just a player, everyone recognized that initially and he performed consistently over his career. He’s a guy who when I talk about touchdowns, every fifth catch was a touchdown. He had 33 touchdowns and over 150 catches. He was a playmaker from the time he stepped on campus there.”
At the end of the day, Tannenbaum, along with the others, were extremely happy with the addition of Parker. Compared to the wide receiver room in 2014, the 2015 version has a lot of promise, although he wasn’t ready to crown them just yet.
“Well obviously that has to play out. But we’re really excited about where we are going with that. Obviously you know that has to come together with Ryan (Tannehill) and the receivers and obviously three new players. But what we feel good about is that coach obviously has a familiarity with Greg Jennings and did a lot of research on Kenny Stills. Starting with Dennis and his group they have done just an unbelievable amount of work on DeVante, and I think that he’s a great example the tape sets the floor and the character sets the ceiling, and where this group could go is going to be really exciting to watch. What we are trying to do is just add to the room in terms of speed, athleticism. Give another year of Ryan growing with this group of guys, and we’re excited about where we can go with them.”
This will certainly be an exciting group of young players and if everything clicks the way the Dolphins front office and coaching staff thinks it will, it can quickly become one of the best units throughout the entire NFL.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs