2021 NFL Draft: Is Penn State LB Micah Parsons better than Devin White?

The linebacker position has deteriorated in value over the past few years, with teams showing skepticism to take them in the first round of the NFL Draft. This could make the draft valuation of Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons a bit more difficult to project.

Not to mention, Parsons has had a difficult year on multiple levels, shading his outlook even a bit further. While opting out is not a negative on anyone’s grade, as he cared for his health and began training for the 2021 NFL Draft, there are other question marks to be concerned about.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, and someone who has known Parsons for a while, has stated the Penn State linebacker has quite a learning curve ahead of him in the maturity department. Perhaps some proof to that is the multiple lawsuits Parsons has been named in, getting benched due to behavioral issues, and a stunted recruitment process due to multiple infractions.

There is, however, no denying his talent on the field, as there is a reason he is perhaps the top linebacker in this draft class. In fact, one NFL executive believes Parsons to be better than another linebacker who went fifth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

High praise for Micah Parsons

There is no doubt Devin White changed the game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs. His ability to get sideline-to-sideline wiped out and neutralized a ton of the speed that the Chiefs use to threaten defenses. The Buccaneers took White with the fifth overall pick in 2019, and one NFL executive sees more talent in Parsons:

“He can be a game-changer… Devin White, who I loved coming out of LSU, Micah is a much better prospect than him. Devin was very athletic, very fast, you see it on the NFL level” (Exec via VictoryBellRings).

Over the last two years, we have seen five linebackers taken in the first round. Despite any baggage Parsons may have that the league is aware of, he looks like a sure-fire top-32 pick this upcoming April. If Parsons lives up to the hype, he has the skillset to become an elite linebacker in the NFL as it transitions to a speed-oriented game.

“Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis, they’re the best inside linebackers in the last 25 years… And what made them so good was their hand use. Once they got their hands on a lineman and stunned them, they’re so quick and fast, they could get off the blocks and make the tackle.”

Can Micah Parsons live up to the hype he is getting? Just about 70 days until we see where he lands, and where he begins his NFL career.