Dylan Parham, Memphis OL | NFL Draft Scouting Report

The scouting report of Memphis OL Dylan Parham means that he should not be overlooked when it comes to the 2022 NFL Draft class.

While interior offensive lineman Dylan Parham is not the most-hyped prospect out of Memphis in the 2022 NFL Draft, his scouting report is full of potential. Parham could potentially play either guard or center and in the right system for his skill set, he could thrive early in his NFL career.

Dylan Parham NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Guard
  • School: Memphis
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height: 6’2 5/8″
  • Weight: 311 pounds
  • Wingspan: 80 3/8″
  • Arm: 33 1/8″
  • Hand: 10 1/4″

Dylan Parham Scouting Report

Since 2018, Parham has been a mainstay on the Memphis offensive line that has paved the way for NFL running backs Darrell Henderson Jr., Tony Pollard, and Kenneth Gainwell. But before then, he shined on the defensive side of the ball. That’s where Parham began to hone his physical and competitive mindset.

Now, the Memphis guard is one of the most versatile, athletic, and “fun to watch” linemen in the class. Parham put his athletic prowess on full display at the 2022 NFL Combine. At nearly 6’3″ and 311 pounds, he recorded a 4.93 40-yard dash, 26.5″ vertical, 9’0″ broad, 7.78 three-cone, and 4.7 short shuttle. That performance earned a 9 out of a maximum 10 Relative Athletic Score (RAS).

But what made it more impressive was Parham kept his athleticism intact while adding roughly 25 pounds over his listed weight on Memphis’ roster. And as we know, schools often plump up their players’ height and weight. It was important for Parham to increase his mass without hampering his sought-after mobility. He did just that in Indianapolis, further adding to his allure as a draft prospect.

Parham’s skill set fits best in a wide-zone-heavy offense that likes to bounce runs outside. I was already high on him at 285 pounds, but now over 310 with the Combine he had, Parham is easily a top-100 player in the class.

Where Parham wins

Parham is a little on the smaller side for a guard, but his 33″ arms and low pad level help him maintain leverage. His frame is proportional and well-built, which should hold up to NFL defensive tackles. Parham’s pass sets are nice and wide, and his feet are balanced and quick.

Additionally, his hands are locked and loaded, ready to strike his opponent’s chest. The Tiger star’s ankles, knees, and hips are extremely flexible, allowing him to get stellar depth in his stance and underneath defenders. In space, Parham is easy-moving, and his core strength allows him to drive defenders on angle blocks. His feet rarely stop driving, and even when he is beaten, he can recover and redirect his opponent around the quarterback.

Parham can swiftly reset and replace his base, turn and seal defenders, and sustain poise during off-script situations. The Memphis lineman is an excellent athlete laterally and fluidly slides his feet and changes direction. Technically, he strikes with tucked-in elbows, drops his hips to pop and lift, and owns a solid anchor against bull rushers — as showcased at the Senior Bowl.

Mental processing and versatility 

As a four-year starter along the offensive line, Parham isn’t lacking experience. He’s started full seasons at left guard (2018-2019), right tackle (2020), and right guard (2021). But due to his shorter stature, teams may view Parham as a center. As a result, he practiced the position during the pre-draft process.

“I feel I can play any part of the interior offensive line, whether it’s left [guard], right [guard], or center,” Parham said before the Combine. “I’ve been practicing different positions so if my name’s called, I’ll be ready.”

Parham is a clear processor that adjusts throughout games. He’s aware of second-level defenders as both a run and pass blocker and plans a path to them. He effortlessly identifies stunts and blitzes, knows when to pass off, watches both gaps, and helps those next to him when needed. From a technical standpoint, Parham keeps his hips and eyes toward possible gap threats, letting him pivot when required.

This key cog of the Memphis OL pulls and fires to the second level, even flying out as the lead blocker on WR screens. He has the movement skills to mirror on the interior and owns the competitive toughness to play through the whistle. Memphis’ offense didn’t utilize true pass sets all that often, but Parham allowed just 1 sack the last two years — even while starting at right tackle in 2020.

Areas for improvement

While I’m fond of Parham’s abilities, no prospect is ever perfect. Although he gained significant weight, Parham is still a bit light on mass. Furthermore, we only have a small sample size of him playing NFL-sized defensive linemen. At the Senior Bowl, he struggled with bull rushes from Arkansas’ John Ridgeway, and Georgia’s Devonte Wyatt routinely crossed his face and used push-pull rips.

There are times when Parham climbs to the next defender without properly securing his assignment first, allowing some tackles for loss and no gain. Parham will have issues early with absorbing contact on stunts and when he pulls, as he was knocked back on occasion in college.

Overall, his upper body strength lacks a bit, and he can torque his lower body to generate more power consistently. His hand technique can also be spotty, with one of them hitting the outside of his opponent’s shoulders rather than the inside where he can keep leverage. Parham possesses the grip strength to latch on, but he should add more variety to his hand counters and initial punch.

Of course, the level of competition will be a notable factor as the only Power Five school he played the last two years was Mississippi State (2021). However, he did produce impressive film against Houston’s Logan Hall and Cincinnati’s defensive front.

Lastly, when attempting to squeeze gaps, you want to see Parham slide his feet more rather than extend his upper half.

Parham’s Player Profile

Parham began his career on the defensive side of the ball at Carrollton High School in Georgia. As junior LB/DE in 2015, he generated 48 total tackles and 4 tackles for loss. But Parham moved to tight end as a senior in 2016. Although he only caught 9 passes for 96 yards and 1 TD. Yet, he was primarily utilized as a run/pass blocker. Thanks to his efforts, Parham received Times-Georgian first-team All-Area recognition.

While at Carrollton High School, Parham also participated in basketball and track and field. He competed in jumps and sprints and played the low post on the court. Nevertheless, Parham entered the recruiting cycle as a three-star prospect, earning just two offers from Memphis and West Virginia. In the end, the rising tight end chose to further his football career with the Tigers.

Parham’s career at Memphis

Parham entered Memphis as a true-freshman tight end, but head coach Ryan Silverfield tried him out at the defensive end. When that didn’t work, Parham joined the offensive line, and as they say, “the rest was history.”

After taking his first year to transform his body and learn his new position, Parham went on to start 51 games in his Memphis career (28 at LG, 12 at RG, and 11 at RT). He spent his redshirt-freshman and sophomore seasons at left guard before transitioning to right tackle for 2020. He moved to right guard in 2021 but thrived wherever he was on along the line. Parham’s 2021 campaign ended with a first-team All-AAC nod, but he also succeeded off the field.

Among his many academic accolades, Parham was part of the Tiger 3.0 Club in four of his five years at Memphis (2017, 2018, 2019, 2021), landed on the Dean’s list in 2018, and made the AAC All-Academic team in 2017 and 2018.

Parham’s NFL Draft ascension

Memphis runs a spread, RPO-heavy scheme. That allowed Parham to showcase his talent as an uber-athletic lineman, even though the offense lacked a hefty amount of true pass sets. The Tigers also incorporated multiple run schemes with zone, gap, and duo. Still, Parham’s physical ability and mental processing would shine in wide-zone schemes heavily utilized by the Mike Shanahan tree.

As for a player comp, Parham is often mentioned with Shaq Mason. However, I believe he is more similar to Deion “Shaq” Calhoun both in size/athleticism and play style. Here are their Combine numbers to emphasize the similarities.

  • Calhoun (2019 Combine): 6’2 1/2″, 310 pounds, 33 1/8″ arms, 5.07 40-yard dash, 28 1/2″ vertical, 8 3/4″ broad
  • Parham (2022 Combine): 6’2 5/8″, 311 pounds, 33 1/8″ arms, 4.93 40-yard dash, 26 1/2″ vertical, 9″ broad

Now, Calhoun went undrafted — although I believe he could’ve been a Day 3 pick coming out of Mississippi State in 2019. Parham is everything Calhoun could’ve been, with far more refined technique, better physicals, and a road-grading mentality. Parham’s versatility, experience, overall skill set, and athleticism should see him drafted within the first 100 players.

Tony Pauline’s scouting report for Dylan Parham

Positives: Versatile interior blocker who can line up at guard or center. Starts with exceptional knee bend, sinks his butt at the line, and blocks with leverage. Fires off the snap, quickly sets up in pass protection, and stays square. Effective position blocker who seals opponents from plays. Keeps his head on a swivel, works well with linemates, and shows outstanding awareness. Effective in pass protection, anchors at the point, and displays solid lateral range.

Negatives: Not quick to the second level and marginally effective blocking in motion. Average strength and really does not finish blocks.

Analysis: Parham was a versatile blocker at Memphis and comes with an upside. Graded as a center on my board, I believe Parham could eventually start in the league a year or two down the road as he gets stronger and becomes more accustomed to the position.

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