2021 NFL Draft Micah Parsons Profile

by Bob Van Duser
2021 NFL Draft Micah Parsons

Welcome back for a look at my 2021 NFL Draft Micah Parsons Profile! Whether you're here to check out his draft, IDP, or career projection you're in the right place!

In this article, we'll take a look at his college production, college tape, and talk team fits as well! Micah Parsons is a name you'll want to know as we approach the 2021 NFL Draft, as he's projected to go inside the top 10 picks!

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out my Draft Profile on Patrick Surtain II! There will be more to come this Draft Season too.

2021 NFL Draft Micah Parsons Profile

Don't miss out on our first Mock Draft of the season here at Fantasy Six Pack.

Collegiate Career

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Overview

Micah Parsons is a linebacker out of Penn State. He's had an interesting road to the NFL, to say the least. While playing at defensive end and running back in high school, and committing to Penn State as a defensive end, only to end up in a MIKE Linebacker role.

As a Five Star recruit, he was heavily sought after by many teams. After a long process, he chose his home state team, Penn State.

He amassed several awards in his sophomore season, including the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker in 2019, the Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP in 2019, as well as being a Consensus All-American.

Stats

As a Freshman, he recorded 82 Tackles (47 Solo), four Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, and two Forced Fumbles in 13 games.

As a Sophomore and a full-time starter, he logged 109 Tackles (52 Solo Tackles, 57 Assisted Tackles), 14 Tackles for Loss, five Sacks, five Passes Defended, a Fumble Recovery, and four Forced Fumbles.

He opted out of the 2020 season, so we only have two years to go off of. However, the things that stick out to me are the jump in tackles for loss from his Freshman to his Sophomore season. As well as his jump in sacks, passes defended, and Forced Fumbles.

All of these things point to his playmaking ability. The ability to force turnovers and steal possessions is game-changing in the NFL, and teams recognize the value in it.

The one small concern I have statistically is the ratio of Solo Tackles to Assisted Tackles in his Sophomore season. This is ticky-tacky for sure. But this is just strange. Having more Solos than assists points to being able to get to the ball carrier first and tackle players on their own. It's a small knock, nothing I'm knocking him out of the first round for, but it is something of note.
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Tale of the Tape

What can I say? There's a lot to like with Micah Parsons tape. He does a lot right. He's a strong tackler and can often fight his way through traffic. He's very athletic and is serviceable in pass coverage.

However, where he truly shines is in his pass rush. It's extremely rare for a linebacker to have somewhat polished pass rush moves such as a swim move, or spin move but Parsons has it. As well as a little shifty sidestep where he'll set up an offensive lineman one way and then cut aggressively the other way.

He can blitz off the edge, or from his linebacker spot, and does both extremely well.

The one knock I have on his film is his play recognition. This is where not every prospect is bulletproof. There are times, specifically when it's a simple stretch run play, that he can diagnose quickly and he's off and good. But whenever there's misdirection, which is very popular in the NFL, there are times where he hesitates and either ends up late to the party or misses the play entirely.

This goes back to my concern with his Solo Vs. Assisted Tackle numbers. That little hesitation could be preventing him from getting there first. But it could be what prevents him from stopping big plays in the NFL.

A Scout's Thoughts

"There is plenty to like about Parsons' game. First of all, he has a big, athletic build for the position. His play speed is excellent and he has the versatility to play off the ball or on the edge. As an inside linebacker, he possesses a trait that is rare in today's college game: He can physically take on blocks. He attacks guards and can escape to make plays after a collision. And he did the same versus the fullback in the Iowa game last season. He eats up ground in a hurry when chasing plays to the perimeter and is a very reliable tackler."-Daniel Jeremiah NFL.com

Projections

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Draft Projection

I definitely see Parsons going in the top 10 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Is there a chance he slides out and goes top 15? Absolutely. But I think that more comes down to positional value of the Linebacker position, and how teams view Parsons, and if they have a scheme for him.

With Robert Saleh getting the head coaching job in New York I'd love to see him snag Parsons. But that would likely require a trade down, which is possible if they elect to keep Darnold, and not draft a new franchise QB.

Other than the Jets, I could see Atlanta, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Detroit, Carolina, and Denver all having strong interest. My favorites of those are likely Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Carolina, and Denver.

Team Fits

Cincinnati was dead last in sacks per game, as well as 27th in rush yards allowed per game. While Parsons might be able to bring a spark to this defense, I really think addressing the offensive line is the best move for them.

Philadelphia also ranks in the bottom 10 in the league of rush yards allowed per game. However, they were able to get after the quarterback with just over 3 Sacks per game. Granted, I'm a big fan of nostalgia and narratives, and Parsons playing his football career in high school, college, and the NFL in his home state would be pretty cool.

Carolina was 20th in the league when it came to defending the run, and 23rd in the league when it comes to sacks. They spent an entire draft drafting for the defense, will they repeat and snag this blue-chip prospect? Head Coach Matt Rhule is a big big fan of drafting the big athlete and he'll worry about the implementation. Parsons could be a nice fit here.

Denver also struggled with the run in 2020, finishing 25th against the run. However, despite not having Von Miller they managed to finish in the top 10 in sacks per game. What a piece it would be to add Parsons to this mix, and give Fangio a tool of destruction on that defense.
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IDP Projection

If I were to guess at Micah Parsons rookie stat line, I'd guess it'd look something like 115 Tackles (80 Solo), 11 Tackles for loss, 6.5 Sacks, two Passes defended, three Forced Fumbles. This assuming he's getting a starting role. There's a decent chance he ends up like Isaiah Simmons and has somewhat of a "red-shirt" rookie season.

He's tough to gauge when you don't know the scheme, position, etc. But he's bound to be LB1/LB2 off the IDP Draft Board this summer.

Career Projection

I like his outlook, but the pessimist in me feels like he could end up like Hasaan Reddick. Where the coaching kind of fails him and never utilizes him to his full potential.

He has all the tools, but will likely face a learning curve with his play recognition should he end up at MIKE Linebacker. But if he can play as a 3-4 Outside Linebacker or SAM Linebacker, I think he could really flash and be elite in that role. Especially if he can be let loose to pass rush some, while also being utilized in coverage and run-stopping.

Conclusion

Micah Parsons is an awesome prospect. He's likely to be drafted as the LB1 in the NFL Draft as well as Fantasy Drafts come Summer. While there are some negatives to his game, none are huge pitfalls.

I do think he is somewhat dependent on his landing spot, solely based on how he ends up being used could widely impact his development. Either way, I'm excited to see where he lands, and even more excited to see him perform his rookie year.


Be sure to keep coming back to check out more draft profiles and 2021 NFL Draft coverage here on Fantasy Six Pack.

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