The Vikings have two of the NFL’s best safeties in Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris. But beyond the NFL’s top safety tandem there’s zero NFL experience with three rookies beneath them on the depth chart.
Parker, undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2018, spent his rookie year on the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad. The Dolphins acquired him last season and he played in 14 games, starting in four, and had two interceptions.
Parker’s biggest highlight of 2019 was robbing Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron of a touchdown in the end zone.
Parker will look to be a veteran replacement for the Vikings at safety after the team let Jayron Kearse and Andrew Sendejo walk this offseason. The Vikings did draft two rookies this past spring in sixth-rounder Josh Metellus (Michigan) and Brian Cole II (Mississippi State) and picked up Myles Dorn (North Carolina) in rookie free agency.
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Steven Parker Named the Most Underrated Dolphins Player
Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated recently listed every AFC team’s most underrated player and Parker was selected as the Dolphins.
Here’s what Orr wrote on Parker:
The Dolphins claimed Parker off waivers just as the regular season was beginning, and got 14 games (and four starts) out of the undrafted free agent. Here’s where the value comes in: Parker was in on about a third of Miami’s snaps (with two games in which he played more than 90% of snaps) and allowed an opposing completion percentage of 53.8 and an opposer passer rating of 83.8. He misses a low portion of tackles (relatively, considering sample size) and can play free safety, in the box or at slot cornerback. He is emblematic of the kind of player Bill Belichick would require to keep a versatile defense from skipping a beat, which Brian Flores seems to have taken to heart here.
It’s odd for Parker to be the most underrated, yet not valued by the Dolphins who waived him. Parker gave up three touchdowns last season and allowed an 83.8 passer rating when targeted in limited action.
Jahleel Addae Brought In For Workout
Overshadowed by Parker’s signing was Jahleel Addae’s appearance at Vikings training camp, Ian Rapoport reported.
Undrafted in 2013, Addae proved his worth and played for the Los Angeles Chargers until last season when he joined the Houston Texans. He started all 16 games in his final two years with the Chargers and didn’t miss a game with the Texans. He played as a third linebacker at times for the Texans and would likely be the Vikings second strong safety.
Addae has four career interceptions, one which was returned 90 yards for a touchdown, and 417 combined tackles.
Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.