Name: Micah Parsons
College: Penn State
Weight: 246 lbs (pro day)
Overall Rank: No. 6 overall
Position Rank: LB1
Strengths: It is rare to find a linebacker with Parsons’ athletic ability. At 6’3” and 246 pounds he ran a low 4.4-second 40-yard dash. Parsons has the build, strength and athleticism to play any linebacker spot and can handle all three phases of defensive play (run, pass, rush) equally. He’s explosive and violent when pursuing the football and shows the closing speed to erase plays when coming downhill. Parsons’ speed and burst are eye-popping and make him an ideal matchup defender against versatile, athletic tight ends in pass coverage. He’s also shown an ability as a pass-rusher and can impact the game coming off the edge. Parsons’ is loaded with potential—especially as a rusher—and could ultimately become a much better and more well-rounded NFL defender than he was in college. There is no limit to how good Parsons can be thanks to his elite athleticism.
Weaknesses: Parsons has benefited from a defensive scheme that has largely kept him clean of blockers. He’ll have to learn to better rip and shed blockers at the pro level. He’s been able to cover up any hesitation in his instincts with elite speed, but that won’t always be the case in the NFL. Parsons was named in a lawsuit by a former Penn State teammate in part of a hazing scandal. No charges were filed and Parsons was not sued by the former teammate.
What I Love: In terms of athletic ability, Parsons is in rare company. Linebackers with this size don’t generally move the way he does. Parsons is scheme-fluid and positionally versatile. He should have a major impact on his new team from the first day.
NFL Comparison: Ryan Shazier
Position Specific Traits:
(key: +, ++, +++ positive scale | -, - -, - - - negative scale)
Athletic Ability: +++
Football IQ/Instincts: +
Pass Coverage: ++
Pass Rush: ++
Run Defense: ++
Percent Chance and thoughts on this dude falling to WFT at 19? I’d like to see to see it happen
His issues processing plays, specifically any sort of misdirection, has me confused how he could possibly be ahead of other, much more technically sound linebackers. I understand swinging for the fences when it comes to athleticism, but I’d rather take Jamin Davis and Collins, who both seem to process the game much quicker and are very solid prospects as well.