Dolphins rookie DeVante Parker calls strong finish 'very satisfying'
The start to Miami Dolphins rookie DeVante Parker's career was a rough one. Offseason foot surgery delayed his progress and development as it took him a bit longer to learn the nuances of the offense and the speed of the NFL.
It took him nearly 12 weeks to really get going, but once Parker hit his stride, he proved why he was worth a first-round pick. In the final six weeks of the season, Parker caught 22 passes for 445 yards and three touchdowns, topping 100 yards in a game once. Needless to say it was a huge improvement from his four-catch, 49-yard start to the season in the first 10 games.
“It’s very satisfying,” Parker said. “Just went out there and showed the fans what I can do. I just had to bounce back from injury and just had to wait my turn and fortunately I was able to come in and just contribute to the team.”
A big reason why Parker got the chances that he did was because Rishard Matthews went down with a rib injury. It gave way to Parker in the starting lineup and he took advantage of every opportunity. With his performance late in the season, it should solidify his role as the No. 2 wideout on the roster, behind Jarvis Landry.
Matthews will be a free agent in March and could hit the open market due to Parker's emergence. Having three talented wide receivers on the roster would obviously be great and make it challenging for opposing defenses to contain them.
“We have different weapons on the team we can go to," Parker said. "You can’t just stop one person. We have other players that can make plays for the team.”