ORLANDO — There was a lot of talk about small wide receivers on Tuesday morning.
Albert Wilson is fast, but small. Danny Amendola is quick, but small. Jakeem Grant is lightning, but small.
Jarvis Landry is gone, but he was pretty small.
You know who’s not small? DeVante Parker.
The Dolphins have this group of, well, small receivers. Not that that can’t work.
But lost in all the talk about Ryan Tannehill’s return and Landry’s departure and the new offensive linemen, is the notion of what DeVante Parker may mean for the 2018 Dolphins offense.
Well, that’s because many fans are sort of – over it.
They’re tired of hearing about Parker’s potential. His upside.
They’re tired of hearing how he’s going to be a fantasy football breakout star. And how he has the skill set to be a Pro Bowler. And how his unique combination of size (6-foot-3) and athleticism — blah, blah, blah.
So many people are over it.
Well, at the NFL owner’s meeting on Tuesday, Dolphins coach Adam Gase indicated he is not yet completely over it.
In other words, Gase has not yet completely given up on the idea of what Parker may be.
“I would say I feel like we know what he can do, in our building,” Gase said. “I don’t think there is any question what anybody feels he can do. I don’t even think it’s a potential thing. I think it’s a health thing. I think it’s just about however we can keep him healthy. I think that’s when we get our best DeVante Parker. So I think we’re trying to do as much as we can to figure out a way that when we hit spring we start from there and keep building on it. It’s just unpredictable. We need a little bit of luck. We need him to do the right things. And he has been. He’s been trying to do everything the right way. And it’s just kind of have to see where the chips fall.”
Maybe an under-the-radar Parker will be a better Parker. Maybe a contract-year Parker will be a better Parker.
Maybe he’ll just catch a break. Maybe he’s just really been an unlucky fellow.
Parker did play a season-high 13 games in 2017, but delivered only 52 receiving yards per game. And Parker’s yards per catch were a career-low 11.8.
Before he was hurt, quarterback Ryan Tannehill couldn’t stop gushing about his expectations for Parker. So maybe, maybe, his return will help.
Parker is about to enter his fourth NFL season. He’s just turned 25, still a relatively young colt from Louisville, Kentucky.
Parker’s still set is unique. But will the whole unicorn thing ever come to fruition in South Florida?
“I’ve always been a big fan of having as many different guys as you can,” Gase said of his receiving group. “And we’ve got a good variety. We’ve got a lot of speed. Different sizes. We just have to keep guys healthy and on the field.”
Especially Number 11.