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“I think he’s kind of a faster Alshon [Jeffery],” said Cutler, who played with Jeffery in Chicago. “He’s got a lot of range, back shoulder and over the top. He’s got great hands. Then, he can burn you up if you’re flat-footed.”
Parker has yet to reach his potential in Miami due to injuries and inconsistency in his first two seasons. This is a big Year 3 for Parker, and perhaps a quarterback change from the injured Ryan Tannehill (knee) to a more aggressive, downfield passer like Cutler could lead to better individual numbers for the receiver.
When Jay Cutler signed with the Dolphins, Neil Dutton noted the potential benefit to the team’s tallest primary wide receiver, DeVante Parker. Now we have a new data source to support that theory.
NFL.com’s Next Gen Stats recently unveiled Aggressiveness, which is measured as the percentage of pass attempts that are thrown to a receiver with less than one yard of separation when the ball arrives. To no one’s surprise, Cutler was the fifth-most aggressive quarterback in 2016, throwing 22.6 percent of his passes into tight coverage. Ryan Tannehill, in contrast, was 2016’s third-least aggressive passer, forcing only 14.7 percent of his passes into contested situations.
Anthony Amico thinks that breakout was merely delayed 12 months, noting that Parker was featured in the Dolphins offense, but they threw too little for it to matter. Meanwhile, Neil Dutton — despite grudging optimism based on Parker’s size — declares that 2017 will not be the year of DeVante.
I’m comfortable, but not excited about Parker as the WR36 in average draft position. If Cutler is going to take more chances, though, I’m worried about Jarvis Landry at WR24. Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model loves Landry, and Hermsmeyer notes that Cutler isn’t an accurate downfield passer and has thrived on short and intermediate passes. But Parker has been his most effective 10- to 20-yards downfield. He can steal enough work from Landry to make both of them WR3s.