Over the course of the first eight games Parker has been pretty much invisible. In fact he isn’t helping the offense by drawing coverage away either. He simply isn’t a factor. He wasn’t in 2015 and he hasn’t been in 2016.
Parker put up 8 receptions in week one for 106 yards against the Seahawks but the closest he has come since was a five catch effort for 28 yards against the Steelers. He posted 70 yards on two receptions against the Titans. Parker simply isn’t getting it done.
There are a lot of fans who would look at Parker as a bust and that would be far from accurate. Receivers often struggle to adjust to the NFL. Even first round picks but the Dolphins were surely expecting a lot more from Parker.
Parker came out of college with question marks regarding the quality of the routes he ran and the consistency with the way he ran them. While he is a big receiver he is not a physical receiver and often has a hard time with some types of corners. This too has been an issue in the NFL.
From what we have seen there simply isn’t a rapport between Tannehill and Parker just yet and Tannehill needs to work on finding Parker but Parker needs to do a better job of getting separation quickly to give Tannehill a target.
There is no reason to play the “what-if” game regarding the 2015 draft. Parker was a good pick if not one that came with some flaws. The problem is that Parker hasn’t taken care of his body and perhaps maybe is just starting to learn from the teams nutritionists and therapy teams.
At some point, Parker needs to start believing in himself and when he can do that, he can let go of his internal issues which are likely blocking his mental ability to play a little freer. On the one hand however, Parker is playing a tough to learn position with his 3rd offensive coordinator in two years. While the system wasn’t completely different when Miami changed last season, it was still different.
Under Gase, Parker may find his best opportunity to learn this level of football and it’s going to take some time but the Dolphins need him to start doing his part now and the learning curve is starting to shorten.
With all the abilities that Parker has and the athleticism to go with that, it’s time for him to come out of his shell and become the big target that Miami expected.