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Posted March 21, 2009
Mark Parson Under the Radar
Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to acquire some game tape from Ohio University with the intent of only gaining information on one prospect - Mark Parson.
Parson is a smaller cornerback at 5-9, 186, but he plays like a 6-2, 210-pouns shut-down corner.
He got absolutely snubbed by BLESTO and National Scouting by not receiving a Combine invite, but one evaluator of talent did not overlook him.
His name is Deion Sanders. You might have heard the name before because he is one of the best athletes of all time in any sport.
Sanders invited Parson to his defensive back camp, Prime U, because he saw the talent.
Despite not getting the Combine invitation, he made his presence felt at his Pro Day.
You might see a 5-9 corner running in the high 4.5s, but he blew up the rest of his drills.
Parson impressed with a 4.39 short shuttle and 6.89 3-cone, all of this according to NFL.com.
Parson showed the explosive athlete he is with a freakish 38-inch vertical, which does not surprise me at all. He does a great job of breaking up jump balls. Against Temple, he was targeted for his size in the red zone. He was in press man coverage against a fade route with a 6-2 receiver, and he managed to break up the pass. Parson was incorrectly called for pass interference on the play - it was a beautiful deflection that prevented six points for Ohio.
Parson's strengths are closing quickly in on the football and being very aggressive against the run. He shows great tackling technique and really explodes through receivers when they attempt screens.
Parson might not have the height or 40 time you look for, but he has plenty to offer and has the potential to be a huge steal for some team in the mid or late rounds.
Keep an eye on him because the analysts that actually watch his play, as opposed to looking at other NFL Draft websites and their friends to determine how good he is, like him. He has the versatility to play both strong safety as well as some nickel.
Numerous defensive backs have flown under the radar on Draft Day and ended up as complete steals, such as Asante Samuel, Terrence McGee, Chinedum Ndukwe, Ike Taylor, Mike McKenzie, Cortland Finnegan, Jermaine Phillips, Ronde Barber, Donnie Abraham and many others.
The self-proclaimed "experts" (I am not an expert, I am an analyst) overlook these prospects every year.
Parson, in my mind, is without a doubt the most underrated cornerback in the entire NFL Draft, and do not be shocked if he is a top-100 pick.
After all, could you get a better endorsement than from possibly the best cornerback to ever live?