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Micah Parsons will be a difference maker in Washington

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2021 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the WFT

NCAA Football: Penn State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Micah Parsons, LB

School: Pennsylvania State University | Conference: Big 10

College Experience: Junior | Age: 21

Height / Weight: 6’3” / 238 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 1st Round

Player Comparison: Devin White

College Statistics

Player Overview

There was little doubt Micah Parsons would be an impact player in college football. Not only was he five-star recruit at defensive end, but he was one of the nation’s top-ten high school players. After Ohio State committed recruiting violations in pursuit of Parsons, he committed to Penn State. Once there, Parsons moved from defensive end to linebacker. Despite the moving to a new position and not starting, Parsons led Penn State in tackles with 82. He only got better in his sophomore season with his play earning him consensus all-American honors. Off the field, Parsons allegedly participated in hazing that resulted in a physical altercation. He has responded to this by saying that he has made mistakes in the past, but they do not represent the person he is today.

Strengths

  • Ideal size and elite athleticism for the position
  • Great at slipping blocks, shooting gaps and blitzing
  • Sure tackler and hard hitter
  • Easily turns and runs with receivers in man coverage

Weaknesses

  • Possible off the field issues
  • Needs to be stronger taking on blockers and shedding them
  • Can overshoot plays because he is too aggressive
  • Awareness in zone coverage needs to improve

Let’s see his work

How He Would Fit

Based on his play, Parsons should be a top-15 pick. But some teams might be leery to draft him because of potential off the field issues. At his size, he has exceptional athleticism that he uses to play all over the field. He can take on blockers and shed them or uses his quickness to maneuver past them. He easily shoots gaps to make tackles for losses or blitz the quarterback. He could even rush off the edge if asked to do so. His athleticism translates to his coverage abilities, but he can improve in this area. With more reps and better understanding of passing concepts, he should get better.

If Parsons makes it to the 19th pick and the team is convinced any off the field issues will not be a problem, I don’t see how Washington could pass on him. He could immediately start at WILL or MIKE linebacker, but would probably play WILL because of the obvious need at the position. What he can do at the line of scrimmage should immediately improve the run defense. He never has to come off the field as he can blitz, rush the passer, or drop in coverage on passing downs. While I do think his coverage abilities need refining, he should be able to play man coverage against most RBs and TEs. If Parsons fits Ron Rivera’s culture and is available at the 19th pick, he’s my frontrunner to be selected.