Matt Harmon and I review two receivers by the name of “Devante” and if we had our druthers, it’s the lesser-known one we’re more excited about.
Batman and Robin. Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens. DeVante Parker and Devante Davis.
When I think of the comic book duo Johnson and Owens come to this football writer’s mind. After studying Parker and Davis on my own and then watching more film with Optimum Scouting and Footballguys writer Matt Harmon (check out Reception Perception), I’m sold on the idea that both players have that kind of respective potential in the NFL.
Parker is producing splash plays at the collegiate level that look good on the field and the box score. He’s the type of prospect that fans get really defensive about when criticism is leveled his way, because tall, fast guys with hands are automatically great prospects, and “all they have to learn” are the little details of the position and the game in order to become great NFL players.
This is as accurate as saying 21-year-old Josh has a 3.8 GPA as a finance major, did an internship with Goldman Sachs, the firm hired him as an entry-level analyst, and “all he has to learn” are the little details of the investment banking industry and leadership to become an executive. Parker and young Josh could ascend to those heights. They certainly have the potential, but there’s a larger gap than the average observer imagines.
Parker is considered a top prospect, but there are issues with his game that could potentially slow his development curve. Depending on his intelligence, study habits as a football player, maturity, his transition from collegiate life to a professional environment, and his social maturity, Parker could learn fast and produce in the NFL like he has at Louisville.
The fact that I think Parker’s game and ceiling matches that of Chad Johnson at the top of his game should tell you that I like his potential. However, Johnson wasn’t an immediate big-time player when he arrived in Cincinnati. Parker should get drafted earlier than Johnson, but he may flash more than sustain during his rookie year.
Devante Davis is built like a young Terrell Owens and he understand how to play to his strengths. Tall, fast, and physical, Davis will post-up defenders, win the ball in the air, or run through you as a ballcarrier. In fact, if all starting points in the NFL were equal, Davis’ physicality gives him a potential advantage over Parker as a prospect.
But we know Parker is a blue chip stock compared the speculative option that many talent evaluators consider Davis. Harmon and I review both receivers in this week’s RSP Film Room and we share why we like Parker and agree he’s an early round prospect, but if we had a strong receiving corps or an offense in need of a physical player with more all-around potential in any system that Davis could wind up a much better bargain.
Crazy? Ask Broncos fans about C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball or Ronnie Hillman right now.
For a complete list of RSP Film Room episodes, check out this page.
For analysis of skill players in this year’s draft class, download the 2014 Rookie Scouting Portfolio – available now. Better yet, if you’re a fantasy owner the 56-page Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2014 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 apiece.