It’s no secret the Raiders need to find answers along their offensive line. Rookie Dylan Parham has a chance to enter the fray in his first year with the team, and he’ll bring an impressive athletic background to the NFL playing field.
The third-round pick was on his high school track and field team, and he didn’t limit himself to the shot put or discus, as many offensive linemen have throughout history. Parham ran the 100-meter dash and more, even lining up for the high jump.
Here’s more on Parham’s high school track career from Vic Tafur of The Athletic, who got the inside scoop from Parham’s track coach, Craig Musselwhite.
Parham grew to be about 6-foot-3, 230 pounds in high school, but he participated in much more than the strength-based competitions in track. He competed in the triple jump, long jump and high jump. He ran hurdles and was the third leg in the 4×100 relay. Outside of distance runs, the only event Parham avoided was the 4×400 relay.
“We’d have to go find him,” Musselwhite said, laughing. “He’d be hiding somewhere.”
That’s an impressive list of events for a 230-pound prep athlete. The fact that Parham drew the line at the 400-meter dash was a nice clue he’d be a lineman one day, however.
Parham kept growing, of course, and now he’s a 311-pound rookie, getting experience at center and guard for the Raiders. Though Parham has added weight, some scouting reports cite concerns about his lack of natural size.
His athletic past should serve him well as a professional though. Having mass is important for a lineman, but so is the ability to accelerate, which is exactly what Parham had to do as a sprinter. His participation in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump also bode well for his explosiveness as an athlete.
And that’s important. Because the Raiders need Parham to get his now-large body moving in the right direction with force and blow up the opposing defense, protecting the Raiders’ potent skill players in the process.
If Parham can put it all together and grab one of the starting spots on the inside of the offensive line, it would be a tremendous help for coach Josh McDaniels’ offense and its questionable personnel up front, comprised mostly of pieces from last season’s suspect group.
It would also be a boon for general manager Dave Ziegler if he got a starter in the third round after trading his first and second-rounders for wide receiver Davante Adams.
Now it’s up to Parham to prove he has the size to be an NFL lineman and the athleticism, too. As long as McDaniels doesn’t make him run 400-meter wind sprints, however, it appears Parham is on course to showcase his dynamic ability and challenge for a starting spot on a team that desperately needs him to.
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