Patriots

Ex-GM who drafted DeVante Parker believes Patriots are getting strong red-zone target in the receiver

"You're getting someone who can win on the outside."

DeVante Parker was traded to the Patriots earlier this offseason. AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

Trading for DeVante Parker was arguably the Patriots’ biggest veteran addition this offseason.

New England shipped out a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to acquire the receiver from Miami plus a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Patriots have had a front-row seat for a good part of Parker’s seven-year career. So has former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum, who was the general manager of the Dolphins when they selected Parker with their first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Tannenbaum, who left his post as Miami’s general manager following the 2018 season, gave a positive review of Parker to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

“You’re getting someone who can win on the outside. Big catch radius and good at high-pointing the ball. Really effective with in-breaking routes and in the red zone,” Tannenbaum told Reiss in the latter’s Sunday notes column. “He’s a very likeable, fun-loving person who is a great teammate — always smiling, never had a bad day.

Advertisement:

“Injuries have been a problem, and you just hope he can put it together for 17 games. I wouldn’t say his play speed is elite, but [if healthy] he’s a very good starting NFL receiver who can be scoring eight to 12 touchdowns and making contested catches.”

Parker’s shown some of the talent Tannenbaum talked about against the Patriots in the past. In the 2019 regular-season finale, Parker had eight receptions for 137 yards against the Patriots while mostly being covered by Stephon Gilmore, who won Defensive Player of the Year that season.

That Week 17 performance capped off a career-best 2019 season for Parker. He had 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns.

Parker hasn’t been able to recapture that same magic since then, though. He put up decent stats in 2020, catching 63 passes for 793 yards and four touchdowns. But in 2021, a hamstring injury forced Parker to miss seven games. He caught 40 passes for 515 yards and two touchdowns last season.

As he begins a new chapter of his career, Parker appears to already be impressing teammates at his new home. During one of the Patriots’ OTA practices in May, Parker made a long touchdown catch that caught the eyes of several teammates, including fellow wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Advertisement:

“That touchdown today was dope,” Bourne said then. “He’s just an awesome player, man. Awesome attitude. He just fits in well, you know? No complaining, just coming in to work. That’s how we work here — there’s no complaining. We know how it goes down here. So, if you come in with a bad attitude, it’ll show its results.

“He’s gonna get the good results because his attitude is right.”

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is also already a fan of Parker.

“Yeah, I’m really happy with the [receiver] group we have,” Jones said following the same practice in May. “I got a chance to work with all of them in the offseason at various locations, here and all that, so I’ve been very pleased with everybody. They have a tight group once again. DeVante’s done a great job coming in, working in a new system, there’s some familiarity, you know, with the Dolphins and all that, but we’re happy to have him and anybody that can contribute to our team.

“We’re ready to go, so it’s a good group and we just have to keep elevating each other and push each other and compete.”

Advertisement:

The Patriots are in the midst of their break before training camp opens later in July.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com