Micah Parsons Draft Profile
Every year there are about three guys in the draft who you can tell are going to translate into instant NFL pro bowlers. Going into last season, everybody knew Chase Young was going to be a monster and he won defensive rookie of the year. Micah Parsons is giving me similar vibes. He is an athletic specimen, a freak on the field, someone who’s around the ball at all times. He has the potential to be one of the best players in the draft. After taking the year off in 2020, Parsons has fresh legs and he’s had plenty of time to prepare for the NFL. I’m calling his year off, “The KD Year”, everybody forgot just how good Kevin Durant was after not playing in 2020 and now he’s back averaging 28 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. People are forgetting just how dominant Parsons was in 2019 and now he’s starting to fall down draft boards.
One thing I love about Micah Parsons is that he’s able to absolutely tear up an offenses game plan. Parsons blows up a handful of plays every game and he is just a problem for the opposing team. At Penn State, he was mostly a weak side linebacker (WILL), but he also played a little middle linebacker (MIC) and edge rusher. As a pass rusher, Parsons has amazing lean. Similar to Justin Jefferson at the top of his route, Parsons can shift his center of gravity and open up his blockers. This allows him to convert his speed to power and force a pressure. Not only is he always around the ball, Parsons knows how to get the ball out. Earlier this year, I got the chance to talk with future hall of fame linebacker, Patrick Willis about how he scouts linebackers. He looks for three things: eyes, feet, and hands. Football IQ is mandatory for linebackers and the reason why Parsons is always around the ball is because of his eyes. While footwork might not be Parsons biggest strength, his ability to fly around the field makes him dangerous. Parsons hands are violent and he’s capable of punching the ball out at all times. Two traits that I love about Parsons is his explosion an his range. He is capable of running sideline to sideline and is extremely athletic. At his pro day, Parsons ran a sub 4.4 forty yard dash. There is no doubt in my mind that Parsons is a top ten player in the draft.
Despite being arguably of the best defender in the draft, Parsons has been falling down draft boards. In the top ten, no team desperately needs a WILL. Some teams may put Parsons primarily as an edge rusher, but he’s a better fit off the line. The first notable issue with Parsons is in his back pedal. Looking like he’s about to fall backwards, Parsons needs to get his feet under him and find balance. While Parsons may always be near the ball, he needs his hips aligned with his body when tackling. When rushing from the outside, there are times where Parsons gets too upfield. I have no doubt that Parsons was able to improve in these areas during his year off and will be one of the best players in this year’s draft.
It’s hard to find a more dominant single game performance by a linebacker than Parsons matchup vs Memphis in 2019. Parsons’ skillset is rare, his freakish athleticism is similar to Tremaine Edmunds from the Buffalo Bills. Parsons is extremely instinctual and can cover, rush, and tackle. In Jacksonville, Myles Jack played weak side linebacker for Gus Bradley’s defense. Now that Bradley coaches the Raiders, Vegas could be a team that trades up for Parsons. The Giants and Lions are realistic landing spots for him at 7 and 11. The Saints love Demario Davis, and the Lions are planning on running a similar defense to the Saints. Parsons could play that Demario Davis role in Detroit.
Eyes + IQ 9/10
Strength + Hands 7.25/8
Pass Rush 5.75/7
Man Coverage 3.75/5
Zone Coverage 3.75/5
Final Rating: 87
Pro Comparison: Tremaine Edmunds
Team Fits: Lions, Giants, Raiders
Draft Ranking: Top eight player
Draft Projection: Top 11 pick