There’s a reason Micah Parsons in LB1 and very possibly the best defensive player in the 2021 NFL Draft despite only playing two years of college football.
In those two years, he combined for 191 tackles, leading Penn State each year, to go along with 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. In other words, Parsons is a 6-foot-3, 245-pound cruise missile in the middle of defense. While there are some concerns out there about his abilities in coverage, note that this was only Parsons’ second year playing the linebacker position and his testing numbers, a 4.39 40-yard dash and 6.96 3-cone drill, show that the ability to run with tight ends and change directions are clearly there.
Parsons has been at the center of attention at every level of football he’s played at since starting high school and more often than not, he was the best player on the field in each of those games through high school and into college.
Had he played in 2021, Parsons likely would’ve been the preseason favorite for both the Bednarik and Butkus Awards, continue the long line of success at Linebacker U.
What You’re Getting
I truly believe that health permitting, the team that drafts Micah Parsons will be getting a hall of fame caliber linebacker.
Parsons is just another level of athlete at the middle linebacker positions, a la Brian Urlacher, Patrick Willis or Luke Kuechly. I’ve seen some concerns about his instinctiveness, which I believe to be overblown and even if he doesn’t have the best instincts in the league, Parsons often has the athleticism to make up for it.
He’s an elite blitzer and pass rusher from the position and sheds blocks with ease. Parsons also makes sure that when he gets to the ball carrier, he brings them down, having been one of just two players in 2019 with more than 75 tackles and less than 10 misses according to Pro Football Focus.
There have also been concerns out there about character, but outside of some immaturity that he’s seemed to grow out of in his time at Penn State, I believe that may be NFL front offices talking themselves out of drafting the best player available.
Should Parsons fall outside of the top 10 as many mock drafts seem to be projecting, he’s going to be an absolute steal for some team in the 11-20 range and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some team move up to get him at that point.