There probably isn’t a defensive player in the upcoming NFL draft with more upside than former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. The 6-foot-3, 246-pound man somehow ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at his Pro Day and posts all of the athletic traits that teams want to see in prospects. As the draft nears, it’s becoming apparent that there could be a big run of offensive players early in the draft.
Passing on Parsons could leave a lot of teams upset down the road. Former NFL Pro Bowler and Penn State Nittany Lion LaVar Arrington said on Fox Sports’ The Herd that Parsons is a mix between Von Miller and Ray Lewis. The young linebacker had a chance to give his thoughts on the comparison.
“I didn’t really know how to feel about that, you know? I kind of just laughed on it,” Parson told Heavy.com on Monday. “I could see it. I’m kind of like a mixture of them. I wouldn’t say that I’m a pure pass rusher as Von Miller is, and I’m not as pure of a linebacker as Ray is, but I feel like a feel great in between them because I’m a linebacker who can do it all.”
Miller is currently one of the NFL’s great pass rushers while Lewis is one of the best linebackers to ever play football. The plan is for Parsons to be a linebacker in the NFL but he has experience rushing the passer from his playing days in high school. He also notched five sacks as a Sophomore at Penn State. He revealed that NFL teams have been talking about using him as a pass rusher from time to time.
“Yeah, there’s a couple teams that talked about third-down packages, when we’re in nickel, I can transition to a rush defensive end … so there’s a lot of talk right now and a lot of teams are just really ready to utilize me, utilize everything I have to offer,” Parsons said.
Linebackers who can rush the passer are having added importance in the NFL. We saw that with Devin White during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl run last year. A player like Parsons is a weapon that teams should utilize as much as possible.
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Parsons Is Very Proud of Military Background
Parsons has all the natural athletic ability you’d expect to see from an NFL prospect. However, there are plenty of prospects who have come into the league with otherworldly athletic traits. What sets Parsons apart is the work ethic that he acquired while growing up in a military family. The linebacker has two uncles who are currently in the military and his great grandfather served in World War II. His father also spent time in the military.
Unlike last year, a number of prospects will be in attendance at the NFL Draft in Cleveland, Ohio. Parsons will be among the players there to hear their names called and he’ll be bringing both of his uncles who are in the military.
“It’s gonna be an awesome thing because I think they instilled so many great things in me so early,” Parsons said of his uncles attending the draft. “I think they all followed me throughout my high school career, my college career and even into an NFL career. So all those morals, things that they put in me is carrying me and I think they should be there on my biggest day and they’re going to be so proud of me and the things that I accomplished.”
Due to his military background, Parsons has partnered with USAA and collaborated on a video.
Discipline, sacrifice & leadership are all military qualities that I have inherited from my military family. Thank you to @USAA for allowing me to honor them and their service before I start my @NFL career with this week’s #NFLDraft. #SaluteToService #USAApartner pic.twitter.com/JwuIb4dRoW
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) April 26, 2021
Parsons went into detail on why he decided to partner with USAA.
“Obviously, with my active military, USAA reached out … I was an Army All-American and my uncle actually presented me my own jersey at my high school,” he said. ” [USAA] heard about that … they reached out. I got multiple uncles involved in the military. My father was actually in the military, too. My military background is very big and they loved it and I thought we were the perfect partners.”
Parsons Has a Lot of Excitement for Draft Night
As previously mentioned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the draft was done virtually. Players weren’t able to shake hands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or experience the event live. That’s different this year as 13 of the top prospects will be in attendance with Parsons among them. This will be a dream come true for him.
“You know, it’s an amazing thing and it’s an amazing honor,” Parsons said. “I think this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not a lot of people get to do, so when I get the opportunity to be one of the first people to get the call … it was a no-brainer for me that I was going. I always dreamed of this … shaking Roger’s hand, grabbing my jersey, so you know, for me, this is going to be a real heart-opening, maybe a couple of tears moment for me.”
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