Denver Broncos S Will Parks ready to learn and compete

Jul 31, 2015; Burbank, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats safety Will Parks at Pac-12 Media Day at Warner Bros. Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2015; Burbank, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats safety Will Parks at Pac-12 Media Day at Warner Bros. Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos rookie safety Will Parks was one of the team’s best, most underrated picks of the draft. He’s ready to work hard and earn his snaps…

Rookie safety Will Parks was one of the most underrated pickups of the 2016 NFL Draft for the Denver Broncos, but how will he adjust to the NFL game?

Parks is a hard-hitting defensive back out of Arizona who isn’t the size of a linebacker but certainly has the mindset of one. He is fearless, especially attacking the line of scrimmage, and if he’d been able to close the deal, he would have finished his collegiate career with probably twice as many interceptions as he actually came away with.

The way he talks about his approach to the game, the way he works, and the demeanor we have seen on the field indicate to me that the Broncos are getting a really good one in Will Parks, who said this offseason he was sort of taken under T.J. Ward’s wing.

“Being a pro,” Parks said of what he learned from mini camps. “I definitely took from [S] T.J. Ward and all of those guys back there in the secondary. Just them them helping us as far as developing certain schemes or certain plays, if they see me going the wrong way or if I just took the wrong little step. Just listening to those guys, and it shows when they take the right step (and) that play is a pick-six or it’s an interception. Learning-wise, just picking up from those guys and putting it to my skill set.”

Ward and the rest of the Broncos’ defensive backs know they are only as good as the unit on the whole. There have been plenty of bad miscommunications in the secondary in recent Broncos history that over-communication is not a bad thing by any means.

For Parks, it’s not just one thing that needs improvement or fine-tuning. Training camp is an opportunity to obviously get better, but you’re also diving in headfirst to an NFL camp with guys who are established superstars. He knows that he has to get better in all areas of his game to show he belongs with this talented group.

“Being a rookie—everything. Playing, teaching us tape and going out there, showing what they taught us, putting it on the field, coming in on time and treating everybody the way you want to be treated. It’s more than football coming in right now. Everything that they’re telling us, just putting it in your own words and tweaking it a little bit. Doing what I got to do to get where I need to be. That’s the main thing right now.”

The key to getting playing time in this talented defense is knowing how to do your job. That’s what has earned unheralded players like Chris Harris Jr. significant playing time in the past — when you know your job and you do it to the best of your abilities, success is bound to come.

For Parks and the rest of the Broncos’ rookies, getting out to camp early is aiding in that process.

“That’s a big help. If you’re not looking forward to this, you’re crazy. It’s a big help just getting a head start, just getting back to doing things on a normal routine as we’ve been doing the past two months. I’m pretty sure all of the rookies have been home working out, training well and doing what they’ve got to do. [S] Justin Simmons will probably tell you the same thing. Just being accountable and making sure that you know what you’re doing.”

Parks certainly knows the right things to say. We’ll see soon enough how well it translates to the field.