The early portion of the 2022 NFL season has been inconsistent for the New England Patriots. That much cannot be said for DeVante Parker. He just hasn’t been any good.
Parker, who the Patriots acquired from the Miami Dolphins this offseason, has been a relative non-factor through two games this season. But that isn’t for a lack of trying. Matt Patricia and Mac Jones, perhaps the only two people who can influence Parker’s role on the offense outside of himself, have done their best to get him involved in the offense, giving the 29-year-old the lion’s share of reps on the outside.
Through two weeks, Parker has played 87.2% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps, more than any other skill-position player on the roster. In those snaps, he’s put up some of the worst numbers in the NFL. According to Chad Graff of The Athletic, among the 66 players who have run at least 60 routes this season, Parker ranks last in yards per route run (0.15), targets (4), receptions (1) and receiving yards (9).
If that doesn’t spell things out for you, perhaps the fact that Mac Jones has more interceptions (2) when targeting Jones than completions (1) will.
What may be the worst part about his tenure is the fact that it doesn’t look as though the Patriots can afford to let him off the field anytime soon. Jakobi Meyers has not practiced ahead of Week 3’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, meaning New England’s fourth wideout Kendrick Bourne will likely have other shoes to fill. On top of that, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, a player who has done everything that’s been asked of him so far, seems to have found a role as the Patriots’ de-fact second tight end behind Jonnu Smith.
So, Parker will be on the field Sunday. Will his play improve after another week of practice? The Patriots better hope so.