DAVIE—The enigma known as DeVante Parker isn’t any closer to being solved now than it was when the Dolphins drafted him.
Now in his third season, Parker continues to be cast as a wide receiver with tremendous potential who just hasn’t put it together yet. Last year was supposed to be the year. Then this year was definitely supposed to be the year.
But here he is with two straight games of one catch for five yards. Parker, who was out three games with an ankle injury, is fourth on the team in receptions (36), third in yards (414) and has one touchdown. His longest play of the year was a 31-yard grab.
“We just haven’t been able to get him back in that rhythm like we had him early in the season (before) he got injured,” coach Adam Gase said today. “We just keep working to try to get his confidence back to where it was.”
The upside, according to Gase, is that Parker has continued to do the right things in terms of preparing and taking care of his body. There were issues with that last season, but that problem appears to be fixed. Whatever is hindering Parker now isn’t related to those issues.
He opened the year with four catches for 85 yards against the Chargers and looked like the type of aggressive receiver the Dolphins have been hoping he’d become. Over his first three games, he averaged six catches for 76.7 yards.
The last three weeks, however, have been brutal. Parker has been the intended receiver on five interceptions, and at least two looked like he could’ve done more to prevent them.
There were two interceptions his way against Tampa Bay, and he finished with four catches for 26 yards that game. Matt Moore targeted him just three times against New England, and Jay Cutler threw his way four times in Sunday’s 35-9 win over Denver.
“I thought he had a really good week of practice,” Gase said of Parker’s work leading up to the Broncos game. “I was a little bit surprised that we couldn’t really get him going this last game. I really felt going into the game that we had all three guys in a good place, plus the tight ends and the (running) back. I was feeling good about it. We just couldn’t get anything to DeVante this last game.”
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