Skip to main content
Publish date:

Is Micah Parsons the Most Versatile Player in the NFL Draft?

Yes, Parsons says. Allow the former Penn State linebacker to explain why.

At Penn State's Pro Day, Micah Parsons was asked to make the case that he's a top-10 pick. The former Penn State linebacker did the question one better.

"I just feel like I’m the most versatile player in this class," Parsons said. "I can play middle linebacker, I can play outside, and I can pass-rush. I don’t think there’s a place I can’t play in the linebacker spot or whether it's defensive end on the field. I’m going to utilize my skill and I’m gonna just make plays happen as I did at Penn State and show these guys why Penn State breeds the way we do. We always do this. We show up in big-time plays and big-time moments. We're trained for this."

Parsons is poised to be Penn State's highest defensive draft pick since defensive end Aaron Maybin was selected 11th overall in 2009. And he will be the Lions' highest-drafted linebacker since LaVar Arrington went second overall in 2000. Penn State has had 60 linebackers drafted in the modern era but none in the first round since Arrington.

Draft experts might agree with Parsons' assessment. NFL Draft Bible ranks Parsons as the fifth-best overall talent in the draft, behind Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Pitts, Penei Sewel and JaMarr Chase. He is the site's top-ranked defensive player.

"Parsons is a generational type of talent who could arguably play any position, but he forecasts as a true [middle] linebacker, given his comfort level breaking down the huddle, making the calls on the field and leading his men into battle," NFL Draft Bible said in its evaluation. "... It's hard to fathom that Penn State, which used to be known as “Linebacker U,” has failed to produce a linebacker chosen in the first round since 2000. But Parsons is destined to end the drought. There’s not much this kid can’t do."

Jim Mora, the former NFL head coach and current analyst, suggested that Parsons has years of All-Pro potential ahead of him.

Read More

"Whoever gets him is going to figure out a way to use all the great things that he can do," Mora said. "And I think he's poised to make a great jump. There are guys like that who are just rare. If you turned on the film and didn't know who he was, by the third series, you'd know who he was, because he just jumps off the film."

Parsons said he will continue doing that in the NFL, despite not playing last season.

"My versatility’s going to come in handy," he said. "I played defensive end growing up and pretty much my whole life, so rushing the passer has never been a problem. And obviously what I showed at Penn State, going sideline to sideline has never been a problem. A lot of teams are talking about first and second down going sideline to sideline and [on] third down going at the quarterback.

"... And once I get to OTAs and minicamp, I'll be able to get better and better. It will come over time, but I think by the season, I'll be ready."

Read more

Four former Lions to participate in the NFL Draft

Where will Jayson Oweh get drafted?

Pat Freiermuth's 'All-Pro' potential