NAME: Donald Parham
POSITION: Tight End
JERSEY: No. 49
RECRUITMENT RATING: N/A
WT: 240 lbs
Via Stats FCS
Route Running – Size and stride length presents immediate mismatch issues. Was not frequently challenged by press coverage from slot alignment, but would get collisioned by squatting linebackers and slot corners. Struggled with physicality and often bent route too far off-line in an attempt to contact. Has good smoothness coming through soft angles, especially for size, and accordingly excelled on slants and posts. Has a head fake and rocker step at the top of routes to generate ideal angles. Can’t be trusted to maintain velocity through hard breaks; will get off-line slightly working through middle of the field as he feels contact.
Hands – Has great hands away from his frame. Regularly snags the ball when it arrives with velocity and has the ability to high-point and attack vertically as well. Illustrates good flexibility through the midsection to get back to footballs thrown behind him across the middle of the field; paws are likely huge, especially given other frame measurements. Will be late at times presenting across the middle of the field, especially when laborious through route breaks, which will lead to late hands and incompletions.
Versatility – Is a wide receiver for all intents and purposes. Should never line up in line with his hand in the dirt. Stalk blocking ability is a plus as a big slot type, but should not and will not be considered a TE at the NFL level.
Ball Skills – Maximizes positive physical traits into great contested catch reps. Uses elite length/height well, but is also willing to elevate and attack the football. Has good body control in the air, likely a result of basketball background, to maintain positioning in a mess of bodies and have the best chance at the football. Can absorb contact through the catch point and still maintain control. Length proves valuable when addressing inaccurate footballs or dealing with contact. Ability to drop hips/hands and get low football off the ground yet to be seen. Will address chest catches lazily at times and commit technique drops.
RAC – Long-strider in the open field who doesn’t have great speed, but can eat up distance on a straight line. Elusive traits are minimal, but smoothness through change-of-direction does help in terms of angle-breaking against safeties. Has a surprising amount of contact balance for such a high-waisted and gangling player, though this is exacerbated by poor level of competition.
Physicality – Struggles with the physical nature of play necessitated by the tight end position and will be moved to a slot WR role at the next level. Is upright and tentative into blocking reps inside the box, preferring to win with length over strength; rarely lowers his pads as a runner or blocker. Tries to swipe through contact in the contact window as a route-runner — fails to activate shoulders or hips to initiate contact or win leverage points.
In-line blocking – Does not have a future in this role. Lacks the required thickness throughout his frame, full-body power, and leverage points to be effective, though effort is not lacking.
Space blocking – Offers plus ability here. Generally a huge, long dude who will present problems to players almost a foot his lesser. Is willing to activate his hands and has the ability to overwhelm and finish with his length and height. Does not generate great power from the lower half and can’t so much direct a path as he can take a guy where he wants to go.
Versatility – Could provide an excellent mismatch player to a smart offense who keeps his position nebulous. Will be most successful in his college role, as a big slot receiver used heavily on downfield concepts. Offers great value to teams who ask their slot receivers to block (Rams, Eagles) and run their offense from the slot. Future as an outside receiver is a question mark given poor physical traits beyond size.
Functional Athleticism – Has some good explosiveness for a player of his stride length: can eat up ground off the line and close cushions quickly. Step frequency is low and thereby change of direction takes forever: not a player who will win in the quick game with option routes. Has nice fluidity in the hips and knees to bend angles in open space while maintain velocity. Long speed is average, as is play strength when he’s head up. Has good contact balance, against likely as a result of fluidity.
BEST TRAIT – Hands
WORST TRAIT – In-line blocking
RED FLAGS – Level of competition
ROUND VALUE – Round 5
PLAYER COMPARISON – Logan Thomas
Donald Parham is a big slot receiver at the next level, with as high-ceiling/low-floor projection as you’ll find in a player. Parham eviscerated lower-level competition and rightfully earned a Senior Bowl bid, wherein it will be far harder to separate from defenders. His agility, strength, and contested catch ability will all be tested. At his best, Parham could prove a depth-caliber receiver (WR3/4) used in match-up situations to present an unprecedented problem for defenses. At his worst, Parham’s lack of thickness, play strength, and quickness will spell practice squad purgatory for him. Parham likely is a fringe rosterable player who will struggle early on given his lack of special teams ability.