Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is expecting big things from second-year receiver DeVante Parker.
“I think you saw, the last six to eight games of the year, his confidence start to build,” Tannehill said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “He made more and more plays it seemed like as the weeks went on. He got more comfortable and more confident and was attacking the football.”
The 14th overall pick in in the 2015 draft, Parker caught 26 passes for 494 yards and three touchdowns for the Dolphins last season. Over 400 yards and all three of his scores came over the final six games.
“He’s starting at that point now,” Tannehill said. “We can build from where he is at now, and the sky is the limit for him.”
Parker missed two games in 2015 while recovering from offseason foot surgery. After making only four starts as a rookie, Parker is now healthy and approaching the 2016 season as one of Miami’s top passing options.
“I expect him to be a heck of a football player [and] a guy that other teams fear, because he can make big plays down the field [and] inside,” Tannehill said.
The summer months are annually filled with hype quotes from around the NFL, but there’s reason to believe Parker could make a huge jump in his second season. During the final six games of last season, the former Louisville receiver produced at least 80 receiving yards or a touchdown in five of the six. He also made a catch of at least 30 yards in five of the final six contests.
Extrapolated over a full 16-game season, Parker’s pace during the final six games of 2015 would produce a year with close to 60 catches, 1,200 yards and eight scores. The Dolphins would certainly take those numbers in 2016, especially during Adam Gase’s first year as Miami’s head coach.
Hype in June often creates unrealistic expectations come September, but no one—including his quarterback—can ignore Parker’s finish to last year.