Advanced Stats Prove DeVante Parker Better Than Michael Thomas in Key Area

DeVante Parker Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports

A recent social media feud between Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker and New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas sparked sharp comments on both sides.

But despite Thomas’ major edge in total receptions, Parker does lead him in a key advanced statistic: tight window receptions.

Parker has five years of NFL experience, compared to Thomas’ four seasons in the league, but Thomas has caught twice as many passes as Parker, despite arriving one year later.

Thomas has grabbed 470 career passes, including an incredible 274 receptions the past two seasons. In contrast, Parker has only managed to haul in 235 passes during his five seasons.

Yet, looking at those numbers doesn’t offer a full picture of the two receivers’ particular circumstances, since Parker has had some injury problems and also has had to work with a number of different quarterbacks in his five years with the Dolphins.

In contrast, Thomas has largely been able to make his catches off throws from future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, who has started 58 of the Saints’ 64 regular-season games over the past four years.

Thomas’ career average of 11.7 yards per reception is indicative of a Saints offense that emphasizes short passes that can gain some quick yardage.

That coaching philosophy for the Saints has remained constant, since Sean Payton has been the team’s head coach during Jackson’s entire NFL career.

Parker, on the other hand, has had four different head coaches during his five seasons.

The hope is that Parker and the Dolphins’ top draft pick, Tua Tagovailoa, can quickly develop into a potent passing duo. With Dolphins head coach Brian Flores continuing to make strides in taking control of the team, that stability bodes well for Parker to top Thomas in other categories down the road.