2. WR DeVante Parker
As the attention pushed toward the signing of Fuller and the move to draft Waddle, who has familiarity with Tagovailoa from their time at Alabama, Parker lingers below the radar.
After setting career-highs across the board in 2019 (72 receptions for 1,202 yards, nine touchdowns), Parker’s numbers fell off last year (63 catches for 793 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games). His numbers dipped when Tagovailoa first took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but there was a sign of growth late (seven catches for 116 yards in Week 17, on 14 targets).
Parker will avoid a solid dose of Patriots’ No. 1 corner Stephon Gilmore on Sunday, since he’s on the PUP list with a quad injury to start the season. So Tagovailoa will not have a reason to go elsewhere quickly with the ball, and maybe he’ll even throw a downfield jump ball or two to the 6-foot-3 inch Parker.
Parker hasn’t often performed like a No.1 wide receiver during his career, even if the Dolphins have tried to anoint him as one. Now, as Fuller and/or Waddle try to wrestle that label from him, a big showing against the Patriots on Sunday (with Fuller out suspended) would go a long way toward him finding a way to consistently fulfill that potential in 2021.