Micah Parsons is one of the most naturally gifted players available in the 2021 NFL Draft. At almost 6-foot-3 and weighing 246 pounds, the former Penn State linebacker brings a natural athleticism rarely seen at the position.
During his recent Pro Day, Parsons ran an eye-popping 4.39 in the 40-yard dash while posting a 34-inch vertical and 10-foot, 6-inch broad jump. And despite opting out of the 2020 season, his playmaking ability has not been forgotten.
There are very few concerns about Parsons on the field. It’s off the field that has some NFL decision-makers worrying. That especially holds true for the New York Giants, who have recently taken risks on players with character issues.
Those risks haven’t worked out.
Ereck Flowers, Eli Apple and DeAndre Baker had various character issues when they decided to turn pro, but the Giants talked themselves into taking all three in the first round anyway. None of them are on the team now.
So of course there’s going to be concern about supposed character flaws in current prospects such as Parsons.
“There’s some [concern] because he comes off like Odell Beckham with high-maintenance stuff — like a quarterback playing linebacker,” one NFL scout said, via the New York Post. “But I’m not worried about Parsons like I was worried about Baker.”
Regardless of his personality, Parsons might be too good to pass up. There is risk, but there is also potential reward.
“He’s going to be a rock star, like an LT [Lawrence Taylor],” the scout continued. “He’s going to play early, he’s going to have success, he’s going to be sitting court-side. Nothing is going to stand in the way of football for Micah. The red flags aren’t enough to deter you from drafting him.”
Players can mature, especially in comparison to when they were 17 or 18 years old. If Parsons shows growth off the field, he’s almost certain to thrive in the league for a very long time. A team such as the Giants might take a more risk-averse approach, but some other team is going to take a chance on him.
And that chance may pay off in a big way.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.