New England Patriots receiver DeVante Parker has generated rave reviews through the first four days of training camp.
Acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins in the spring, Parker has used his 6-foot-3 frame and contested-catch acumen to shine, particularly in red-zone work.
"Big body, can make a lot of plays, contested catches," tight end Hunter Henry said of Parker, per ESPN's Mike Reiss. "It's always nice to add a guy like that and take a little pressure off everybody else."
One of the highlights early in camp came with Parker adjusting on a Mac Jones back-shoulder throw with corner Jalen Mills in sticky coverage. The wideout snagged the pigskin and tapped his toes for the score.
"Mac sees where the defender is. He puts it in a great spot and I'm able to come down to it," Parker said of the play.
The acquisition of Parker provides the Patriots the type of receiver they thought they were getting when Bill Belichick drafted N'Keal Harry in the first round. Harry was traded to Chicago this offseason.
In seven seasons in Miami, Parker has flashed playmaking ability, but injuries have derailed his full development. He's played a full slate of games just once in his career -- 2019 when he went for 72 catches, 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns, all career-highs.
Since 2019, Parker has led the NFL with 57 contested catches, per Pro Football Focus. His 14.3 yards per catch over the last three seasons ranks ninth in the NFL.
It's early in camp, and the pads are just coming on, but so far, Parker is making the most of his chance to be the Pats' No. 1 target. If he can stay healthy, Parker will provide Jones with a much-needed boundary weapon who can stretch the field and be a big-bodied weapon in the red zone in 2022.
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