With draft week now here, we'll begin hearing about various prospects the Bengals have met with that haven't been previously reported.
One such prospect is Arizona Wildcats safety Will Parks, who met with Cincinnati at some point this offseason, according to Walter Football. A big reason why this went under the radar is because that's exactly the type of prospect that Parks is.
A 6'0", 204-pound strong safety out of Arizona, Parks finished this past season with 76 tackles, seven tackles for loss, seven pass deflections and two forced fumbles. He also had what may have been the biggest hit of the 2015 college football season against Oregon State:
You can see why the Bengals like him. They want all of their safeties able to lay the kind of hits that put fear into the eyes of any pass-catcher who dares to go across the middle. Whether it's been Reggie Nelson, Taylor Mays or George Iloka, we've become accustomed to seeing the wood laid by the Bengals secondary.
But with Nelson gone and Mays out for the first four games of 2016, adding another safety is something the Bengals must do in the draft or as soon as it ends with a quality undrafted free agent. Parks is currently projected as a seventh-round pick/UDFA by NFL Draft Scout, who ranks him as the 299th-best prospect.
Looking around the interwebs, there's not much out there on Parks in terms of evaluations and draft grades, so it's hard to really project where he'll go in the draft, if he even hears his name called at all. One thing is for sure watching Parks, and that is he'll be in an NFL training camp this year and probably make it to final roster cuts.
For the Bengals, Parks would certainly have a great opportunity to not only make the roster, but be a gameday active if he's able to make an impact on special teams.