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DeVante Parker Would be 'Home-run Pick' for 49ers

DeVante Parker finished his senior year at Louisville with 43 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns.

From a cursory glance, that sounds like decent production for a full season of work.

But when you learn that Parker only played in six games last fall, that stat line looks far gaudier.

Due to a broken foot, Parker missed the first seven games of Louisville's 2014 season. Upon his return, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound wideout laid waste to opposing defenses, averaging seven catches for 142.5 yards per game.

Against the then-second ranked Florida State Seminoles on Oct. 30, Parker caught eight balls for 214 yards. Three weeks later versus Kentucky on his senior day, he went off for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

"It's just God-given talent," Parker said at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine last week. "He just blessed me with the ability to outrun the defenders and be able to catch the ball."

In a strong wide receiver class, Parker is projected to be the third pass-catcher off the board on April 30, when the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft takes place in Chicago. Ahead of him on most experts' lists are Alabama's Amari Cooper and West Virginia's Kevin White.

Michigan's Devin Funchess, Ohio State's Devin Smith and Arizona State's Jaelen Strong are also considered first-round prospects.

So with the 49ers shopping for a wideout in the draft, Parker could be in play for San Francisco at 15th overall – or higher should the team consider trading up.

"I think Amari Cooper and Kevin White will probably be long gone, but if you look at DeVante Parker from Louisville, you maybe have a chance with him," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "He's a tall, long and explosive guy that can stretch the field. That would be a home-run pick if he were to be there."

Parker has garnered comparisons to such NFL mainstays as A.J. Green, Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffrey, all of whom can stretch the field and make big plays.

In his workout at the combine, Parker ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 36 1/2-inch vertical.

"I'm a big, physical kind of player," Parker said. "I go up and get the ball. Anywhere, I go and get it."

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