Hometown: Pearland, TX
High School: Pearland
Overall, Parish is a versatile player with over 400 snaps on special teams, experience playing fullback, and encouraging technical development as an edge rusher, but he lacks the size to earn a consistent role on defense early in his NFL career.
Parish primarily rushes from a two-point stance. The former three-star recruit sometimes plays the half-man game as a pass rusher, but there are also many instances of him throwing himself into the offensive lineman with little finesse. These power rushes produce mixed results as Parish lacks elite arm length or size for an edge rusher. However, his weight room heroics translate to the field. Parish is muscular throughout his frame, which helps him convert speed to power. He’s able to jostle and displace linemen with powerful stabs and leg drive. When his initial rush dies, Parish has several counters in his bag, including a rip. He’s willing to redirect into inside rush lanes if the B-gap has opened. Parish has adequate bend to work around the tackle’s outside shoulder and flatten his rush to the quarterback. The Texas native has deceptive speed at the top of his rush and displays above-average burst off the line. Parish has mastered a cross chop and a hopping cross chop variant, which produce many of his initial wins as a pass rusher. His motor runs hot in pursuit, and he never quits working toward the quarterback. Parish also uses a powerful one-armed stab to create separation before winning the outside shoulder. He compresses the line on inside runs and has improved his vision into the backfield as a run defender. There are concerns about Parish’s projection to the NFL level as a run defender. He’s an undersized edge rusher who will face size mismatches trying to anchor against NFL linemen. Parish is strong, but he gets sealed by linemen in the running game and sometimes struggles with blocking tight ends. He lacks experience dropping into coverage. Tackles with superior length can engulf Parish and erase his impact from plays. The sixth-year edge rusher has a limited tackle radius and needs to finish a higher percentage of his tackle attempts. There are instances where Parish struggles to disengage from blocks. He sometimes launches his body into the tackle, and his rush immediately dies. His hands deploy late on these reps, negating his power.
“Everybody that’s been around Derek Parish knows the type of guy that Derek Parish is. Derek Parish is a soldier. He has a brother who, I’m not sure if he’s in the Army or the Marines…He had surgery like two days ago. But everybody knew that Derek Parish was going to play.” -- Houston defensive lineman Nelson Ceaser on edge rusher Derek Parish playing two days after having surgery on his hand
Parish was a three-star recruit from Pearland High School in Pearland, Texas in the class of 2017. He was the No. 1,137 recruit according to the 247Sports Composite board and No. 1,083 for On3.com. Parish was an unranked three-star recruit for Rivals and an unranked three-star recruit for ESPN with a 72 grade out of 100. As a high school recruit, Parish ran the 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.44 seconds. He earned District 6A-23 First-Team honors in 2016 and District 6A-22 Second-Team honors in 2015. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Parish is one of the most accomplished weight room warriors in the 2023 draft class. The redshirt senior power-cleans 426 pounds, back-squats 674, and benches 425. Parish has improved his speed since high school as he now runs a 4.58 40-time and has hit 21 miles per hour on the GPS. Parish set the American Athletic Conference single-game record with 4.5 sacks in 2022 against Texas Tech. He earned 2021 Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors. Parish underwent hip surgery in January of 2022 and had surgery early in the 2022 season for a broken bone in his hand that required him to play with a club on his hand.