4/26/21: Parsons is a decent run defender as a pursuit player, but he is not a force in a ground game who can take on and shed blocks. He can play zone coverage in the middle of the field, and blitzing is what he does best. With his combination of size, speed and athleticism, Parsons has athletic upside to develop, and that was given proof this spring. Some evaluators think Parsons would be better as a 3-4 outside linebacker rushing the passer because he is not that instinctive as an off-the-ball linebacker. Parsons put on a great pro-day workout, but some teams feel that his tape does not match the media hype.
As reported in the Hot Press in February, sources from multiple teams say Parsons' draft stock is hurt significantly by character concerns. Multiple team sources say Parsons is not as good of a player as other recent top-10 linebackers like Tampa Bay's Devin White or Chicago's Roquan Smith.
Here's what one director of college scouting said about Parsons, "He's very overrated to me. He doesn't play downhill, is not physical taking on [blocks], is a 'clean air' guy, and his instincts don't jump out. He is a freak athlete that can rush the passer. Someone will probably take him early, but I would scratch him from top-10 consideration."
9/5/20: Parsons collected 109 tackles with five sacks, four forced fumbles and five passes defended in 2019. He was always around the ball and produced some splash plays for Penn State. Parsons broke into the starting lineup as a true freshman and showed a lot of upside to develop into an intriguing player. For 2018, he totaled 83 tackles with five for a loss, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Parsons has good size and instincts. Sources from multiple teams said Parsons jumped out at them, and some believe he could end up being a high first-round pick. Prior to the Big Ten quitting on the 2020 season, Parsons announced he would not play and would start preparing for the NFL.