Over the next two weeks, Dallascowboys.com dives deeper into the talented group of undrafted rookies that will battle for a roster spot this offseason.
- Name: Aaron Parker
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Rhode Island
- Height/Weight: 6-2/209lbs
- Awards & Recognition: CAA First-Team All-Conference, New England Football Writer's Association All-New England Team, NFL Scouting Combine invite
The Good: Parker is a natural ball-catcher that finds his way open more often than not, which led to a multitude of targets during his time at Rhode Island. The Maryland native has the ability to high point the football and turn a bad throw into a spectacular catch. He welcomes contact and possesses an uncanny ability to adjust his body to deter a defender and make a snag in traffic. In his senior campaign, he led the CAA in receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,224) while also tallying nine touchdowns.
The Project: While he may make the spectacular play, his hands aren't as reliable as you would like for someone working in the slot. Sometimes Parker will fall into the trap of using his body as a safety net to make a routine grab and cannot make that a habit at his position. His route running isn't consistent either as he rounds his routes and could use some extra explosiveness off the line of scrimmage. At the Combine, Parker posted a 4.57 second 40-yard-dash with a 1.56 second split, neither of which are going to raise eyebrows. This shows on tape as it looks as if 'what you see is what you get.' A player that has consistent speed but struggles to take it to another level.
The Summary: Football has been the lifelong calling for Parker who spent his summers as a child living in West Virginia with his uncle, Super Bowl Champion and former San Francisco 49er Walter Easley. He was a two-way star in high school but was seldomly recruited, ultimately signing with the Rams as an outside linebacker instead of wide receiver. It did not take long for the Rhode Island coaching staff to discover his natural catching ability and make the switch to wideout, as Parker played in at least ten games in each of his four seasons. If he were to fit into Kellen Moore's offense in Dallas, he would need to show more consistency with his hands and most likely find a role as a slot receiver. There is nothing that tells me he's not capable of making the roster, and if he does, it would be another impressive addition by this front office.
The Cowboys have a rich history in signing undrafted rookies from Drew Pearson to Tony Romo. Check out this year's group of 15 rookie free agents that have agreed to terms.