The Miami Dolphins had DeVante Parker at the top of their draft list all along, worried that he would be off the board when they made their pick at the No. 14 spot. They badly wanted DeVante Parker.

Photo by Menefee Seay
DeVante Parker

They had good reason to be concerned with all the chatter about Parker possibly rejoining his former teammate, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, at Minnesota. But the Vikings disappointed University of Louisville fans, going instead for cornerback Trae Waynes of Michigan State with their No. 11 pick.

Next up were the Cleveland Browns, a team that needs a lot of everything, from the bottom of the roster to the corner office.

“We thought they might take [Parker],” Dolphins owner Steve Ross told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel.

UofL fans holding their breath, too, fearful for Parker. Letting go a sigh of relief when the Browns draft Danny Shelton, a tackle from Washington.

“I was thrilled,” said Ross. “He was the guy all along I thought would be at the top of our board. To get one of the big three receivers, a step above the rest, it’s great.”

Parker, who finished his collegiate career with 33 touchdowns, was clearly among the best to ever play receiver at UofL.  Had he not been injured the first seven games last season with a foot injury, he was on track to resetting all Louisville receiving records.

Often NFL owners and scouts, in an effort to shortcut the development process, outsmart themselves and dig the hole deeper, extending the process. They send scouts  to football games every week, but overlook the obvious in the frenzy and one-upmanship leading up to the draft. How else to explain Bridgewater being the last pick in the 2015 draft?

The Miami Dolphins were focused on DeVante Parker, and they will start reaping the benefits right away.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.