The Detroit Lions start their season on Sept. 12, 2021 versus the San Francisco 49ers. The defense will have a major test against an explosive offense. Within the Lions’ defense, their resides an undrafted cornerback who is ready to show the NFL that he’s legit. His name is AJ Parker.
Parker stands at 5-foot-11 weighing 178 pounds. His four collegiate seasons were spent at Kansas State University. His college statistics included 145 total tackles, six interceptions and 17 passes defended, per Sports Reference.com.
In the 2021 NFL Draft, 255 players were selected by various franchises. Parker went undrafted and was signed by the Lions this year. As all undrafted rookies know, they have one training camp to display their talents to make an NFL team
Undrafted free agents have zero guarantees among all NFL teams. They don’t have a guaranteed contract and no shoe endorsement, the player lacks stability within the team. They can be released on any given day or time. One terrible game, scrimmage and practice, that player can receive the pink slip.
AJ Parker is ready to make an impact in the Lions’ secondary.
Once Lions’ training camp started AJ Parker started to show the coaching staff that he belonged in the NFL. He showed that he can excel in man or zone coverage. His instincts and ball-hawking skills allow him to stay with wide receivers and break up passes.
His talent on the field solidifies that he studies film consistently. His fearless attitude is on display as a corner who can tackle, and make plays against taller wide receivers. Through the characteristics of his play, I see a hard worker with sound technique and amazing footwork.
He is the underdog who defied all the odds. He doesn’t take a day off in practice, he has fought for all the opportunities bestowed upon him. The team and coaches respect him, his daily work ethic reflects leadership amongst his peers.
Parker went from undrafted to now playing for the Detroit Lions. His perseverance and dedication show that he can overcome adversity. The blood, sweat and tears he leaves on the field consistently attributes to a winning mentality.