The departure of Jarvis Landry leaves a lot of potential receptions open for Dolphins receivers. Adam Gase needs DeVante Parker to pick up the slack.
The departure of Jarvis Landry leaves a lot of potential receptions open for Dolphins receivers. Adam Gase needs DeVante Parker to pick up the slack. If he doesn’t, it could mean an ugly offensive season for Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the Miami offense.
The good news for Dolphins fans is that Gase is already seeing improvement from Parker on the practice field. He described the former Louisville star as “having more of a purpose” when it comes to practicing. Gase and company will need that to equal heightened production from the fourth year wideout.
Landry has his critics around the league, but the fact is he caught 112 passes from a variety of Dolphins quarterbacks last season. His 8.8 ypc wasn’t very impressive, but it still means the Miami offense will need to find someone else to handle the ball on over 100 plays next season.
The team did add Danny Amendola in the offseason and they hope he can provide Tannehill with a safety blanket from the slot. It’s hard to imagine him becoming more effective after leaving the Patriots though. Bill Belichick and company have a real habit of letting players leave at the right time.
That leaves Kenny Stills and Parker as the two receivers in the best position to make up for Landry’s absence. Stills was fairly productive for the team last season, but he didn’t emerge as a true number one option on the outside. That’s precisely why Gase needs Parker to step up his game.
If Tannehill and the Miami offense are going to threaten anyone this season, they need a legitimate No. 1 option to emerge at wide receiver. Parker has the talent to become that player, but has never been able to turn his potential into production on the field.
The 25-year-old pro has everything you look for in a franchise receiver. He’s got above average size for the position at 6-foot-3 and he has more than enough speed to take the top off the opposing defense. Parker has speed to burn.
The key will be for him to develop into a reliable target for Tannehill. That means Parker needs to get a much better grasp of the offense and the routes he needs to run. That, combined with his propensity to come up with a nagging injury have prevented him from reaching his full potential.
This could be the year where Parker puts it all together. Gase was right when he pointed out that sometimes wide receivers need more time to develop than players at other positions. The Dolphins coach better hope Parker turns out to be one of those guys. If he doesn’t have a breakout season, Miami will really struggle this year. If that happens, Gase could be looking for a new job.