Micah Parsons: The Next Dick Butkus?
Welcome everyone on another journey through the never ending saga of Micah Parsons. In our last encounter together, we looked at whether the off the field issues were to severe for him to be selected in the top 10 of the upcoming NFL Draft. After that adventure I do not think they are to severe, but won't be surprised if he falls. Since that last article a lot has happened. Parsons and Penn State completed their Pro Day and the top 10 draft order was changed (will probably happen again.)
Who's ready to continue on the journey of Micah Parsons? Buckle up, get on board, and lets go on another journey of Micah Parsons!
Take a look at Parson's results from his pro day as well as where he ranks amongst current and former LB's in the NFL Draft.
When you think of his style of play and which events he performed exceptionally well, they both go together. His speed and athleticism is second to none in this draft.
Check out what CBS Sports had to say about Micah's Pro Day performance.
I will explain to you Parson's speed in four words. "The dude is fast." Not only is he super fast, but he is like a cheetah. He has the speed of the cheetah, but also has the capability to go from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye. Parsons can chase down any QB and RB with ease. That is something that is super valuable for an NFL franchise.
Watch this play where he chases down the best QB in the draft with ease. Fields doesn't stand a chance. Poor Justin, thinks he will get an easy first day and then he met Micah!
I have never liked players who rely on their speed in order to perform on the field. However, Parsons does not rely on his speed; he uses his speed to mold his game. Obviously he relies on his speed, but it is not his only elite trait. If you are wondering what his other traits are, keep on reading to find out!
Let me address the elephant in the room on this play. The QB was very foolish to throw the ball rather than taking the sack. Take the sack, get your punter on the field, and pray your defense can bail you out! This had nothing to do with Parsons, but just wanted to share.
Back to Micah! This is an example of how Parsons uses to his speed to mold his game. The other LB he is paired with comes across and blitzes the QB. The offensive line picks up on the blitz and gets him blocked. Parson's comes flying in with a hesitated rush. The offensive line have zero time to block and by the time they realize he already has the QB wrapped up.
I said earlier that I hate when players rely on their speed and that Parsons does not rely on it. Now lets add in his athleticism. Micah is a freak athlete. Minnesota was known for having a BIG offensive line, and even though Micah is smaller he still pushed through to get the tackle for loss.
In this play, he beats not one but two blockers to get the tackle. He really does a solid job of demonstrating his ability to show how he uses his speed and athleticism to make the play. Parsons' beats not one but two blockers on this play. Both blockers attempted to stop Parsons, but the mixture of speed and athleticism is to much to handle.
Patience Young Grasshopper
Here is something that you will not find on any stat sheet. Parsons is super patient on plays. He will rarely immediately blitz the QB. The big exception of that is in the redzone. Micah Parsons is incredible at waiting to see where the play is going to go. He can be fooled sometimes, but when he is correct he is unstoppable.
If he would have rushed early, one of two things would have happened. He would have been picked up by a blocker or the runner would have adjusted his route. However, Parsons let the play develop and he was able to chase down the RB. There are so many plays like this. The ability to let the play develop do so much for his game. Since he is able to go 0 to 60 as fast as a cheetah, being late on the play is just not a thing in Micah's book.
The consensus weakness I see with Parsons is his average pass rushing ability. Here is my two cents on his pass rushing. He is an above average pass rusher. Just remember, he is a linebacker not a defensive end. He is a linebacker who also can contribute as a defensive end.
He was recruited out of high school as a pass rusher, however Penn State saw the potential in him as a linebacker. He uses his time from high school to still be disruptive as a pass rusher. If he is going to get a sack, he will rarely be lined up on the defensive line. Parsons will use his speed and athleticism in a delayed blitz if he wants to get a sack.
However, if he wants to disrupt the QB, he will have the opportunity to. Check out this play against Ohio State. Even though Justin Fields has incredible footwork in the pocket he is unable to get a sack. If you get a QB who struggles in the pocket, by having Parsons disrupt the pocket, could lead to turnovers.
Bring it all together
Lets take a second and look at his overall player profile. Parsons is very fast. He is a human cheetah! When you add his athleticism and explosiveness, he is unstoppable. He has pure instinct for the game of football that is not teachable. He sees the play, he sees the hole, and Parsons makes the play.
For me, this play is a prime example that shows all the elite traits that he has. His speed and athleticism are what helps him get to the QB. Parsons' instincts to see the play develop, find the open hole. and instead of getting the sack, he gets the forced fumble and the ball!
Off the Field Concerns
Lets take a little break from on the field Micah Parsons and lets transition to off the field. Here is the reason he is falling in recent mock drafts and probably the reason he is not the first defensive player taken in this draft.
I am not going to go into detail on all the allegations against Micah Parsons. However, I would highly suggest to you that you read my article below and educate yourself on everything is going on with him.
I want everyone to educate themselves on Micah Parsons. That is the point of this article. I am not saying he is a perfect human being. In every mock draft I have read on Parsons, they said that off the field and character issues are the reasons for why he is dropping. But no one really knew what happened. Please do yourself a favor, read that article!
The events from the allegations against Micah Parsons started in fall of 2018. A disagreement between teammates resulted in a knife being pulled. There are a lot of holes in the story in my opinion. The lawsuit was filed two years after the events and Parsons' name was not named as a defendant. Penn State University, Head Coach James Franklin, and former teammate Damion Barbor are listed as defendants. Parsons' name was named in the lawsuit but not as a defendant.
Here is the giant hole in the story. Another player named in the lawsuit was former Penn State and current Carolina Panthers LB Yetur Gross-Matos. This lawsuit came out in January 2020. This is close to the time that NFL teams start the interview process of the NFL Draft. Teams do very in-depth investigations on prospective draft players. Gross-Matos' draft stock never stumbled in the 2020 draft. Are you telling me teams did not do their homework on him or are there giant holes in the story?
After his pro day, many reports stated that the big concerns were immaturity not this lawsuit. I have zero connections to Penn State, so I am not going to attempt to figure out his maturity issues. Again, I am sure teams are going to do their homework. If he is drafted high, then you know the rumors of immaturity are not as reliable as you think.
I know this may be shocking, but Micah Parsons is not perfect on the field. The one area that Micah needs to improve once he gets to the NFL is his ability to recognize play action. He is easily fooled in these plays. It seems like it is a guess for him. When he is correct, it is game over for the offense. When he is wrong, well check this out.
This is a major weakness for Parsons. He is going to need to learn better vision and discipline in play action plays. No player is perfect and Micah is no exception to that. He overly committed to this play. When he is patient and lets the play develop, he is very impactful.
If you read the title of this article you already know who my comparison for Micah Parsons is. Here is a guy that you need to go back all the way to 70's to know. Micah Parsons is the next Dick Butkus. "Adam you can not compare a player from the 70's to a player today, the NFL is has completely changed." First of all rules are for fools. Secondly, Butkus was known for being a feared and tough player. Two things that Parsons is known for. The one stat that Parsons was super high on was his forced fumbles, something that Butkus was known for.
I know it is a crazy comparison, but I really see the similarities. Both individuals are big for their position and they both play super tough. If Butkus was able to get a hand on the ball carrier then it was game over. The ball carrier might as well give up. The same thing is with Parsons. Like I said crazy comparison, but go big or go home!!
The Grand Finale
If you are still reading, I applaud you! When I look at his off the field issues, there are so many holes in the entire scenario. The fact that Yetur Gross-Matos' draft stock never fell. Since his draft stock stayed the same, and Parsons was not listed as a defendant in the case shows me the uncertainty of the situation.
When you see the on the field Micah Parsons, I see an extremely dynamic player. He is one of the most electric players that we have not seen in a long time. His speed is second to none, and his ability to go from 0 to 60 is the best I have ever seen from a defensive player. When you combine his speed and his athleticism help him become the once in a lifetime player he is.
I do not think he should fall in this draft. He is too good of a talent to fall in my opinion. I am sure NFL teams are doing their homework on him. Is he worth the risk? Will we regret this in 5 years? NFL teams are going to spend hours trying to figure that out, and if he is taken early, then we know their research came back saying he is worth the risk. If he falls, then whichever team selects him will get a steal on the field.
If you want to discuss him or any other player in this draft, hit me up on twitter @AAmack1234 . I am always happy to talk!