Dolphins rookie DeVante Parker is trending upward

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- It’s been a long, arduous rookie year for Miami Dolphins first-round pick DeVante Parker. It started in the summer with foot surgery, and now the tide finally is turning 12 games into the regular season.

Parker got his first NFL start in Sunday’s 15-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The first-year receiver scored Miami’s only offensive touchdown with a highlight-reel, 38-yard score from quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the second quarter.

It was a dynamic flash from Parker that briefly showed why the Dolphins made him the No. 14 overall pick in last April’s NFL draft.

“Tannehill threw it up where I was able to high-point it and go get it,” Parker said of his touchdown play. “That’s what I do best. He threw it to where only I could get it and I came down with it.”

In fact, Parker has two touchdown catches in the past two games. He also caught a 31-yard touchdown in last week’s loss to the New York Jets. Parker has seven receptions for 143 yards in the past two weeks and is averaging 20.4 yards per reception.

More important, Parker is showing that he could be the future of Miami’s passing attack. The final month of the season is all about preparing for 2016, and Parker is showing that he wants to be a part of that foundation. With starter Rishard Matthews heading toward free agency, Parker will be in line to be a projected starter.

Parker has come a long way from catching just four passes in the first 10 games and receiving little playing time.

“Just coming back from injury, it took me a little while to get back to myself with the foot,” Parker said. “Now I feel pretty comfortable with it.”