Broncos should prioritize Will Parks among in-house free agents

Sayre Bedinger
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Oakland Raiders drops a pass that would have resulted in a first down as strong safety Will Parks #34 of the Denver Broncos defends on the play during the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on December 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29: Tight end Darren Waller #83 of the Oakland Raiders drops a pass that would have resulted in a first down as strong safety Will Parks #34 of the Denver Broncos defends on the play during the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on December 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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The Denver Broncos have a defensive weapon on their hands in Will Parks who can be a versatile threat in the box and in coverage.

The Denver Broncos have plenty of in-house free agents to consider over the next few weeks as we approach the 2020 new league year and NFL free agency.

One player who doesn’t get a ton of hype but would be a very wise investment over the next three or four years for Denver is defensive back Will Parks, a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Parks is a Philadelphia native who played his college ball at Arizona and has excelled with the Broncos not only as a defensive back but also as a special teams ace. As a matter of fact, Parks made one of the most memorable plays for the Broncos over the last four years when he returned a blocked extra point for a two-point score against the New Orleans Saints.

He also took a touchdown off the board in a home game against the Steelers two seasons ago.

Take a stroll down memory lane…

Parks also made a huge play in coverage in the Broncos’ week 17 victory over the Oakland Raiders, which happened to be against Raiders tight end Darren Waller who was one of the best receiving tight ends in football this season.

Parks was mic’d up for that game.

Not only is Parks a tremendous personality, hard worker, and active in the community, but he’s also developing into a very good all-around NFL defensive back.

For the Broncos, it seemed Parks had carved out a nice role down the stretch last season as the team’s primary nickel corner and dime linebacker. Vic Fangio sent him on blitzes, matched him up in man coverage, matched him up on tight ends and running backs, and generally found the best spot to put Parks, who is listed on the roster as a safety.

Just like Fangio’s scheme made Kareem Jackson — a corner by trade — best suited for safety, perhaps Parks can continue to be effective out of the slot where the Broncos had shuffled a number of players this past season, including Duke Dawson and Kareem Jackson.

The price to retain Parks shouldn’t be crazy, and the Broncos obviously need all the help they can get on the back end of their defense with both Justin Simmons and Chris Harris Jr. joining Parks as free agents.

With Bryce Callahan presumably coming back healthy from a foot injury he couldn’t come back from in 2019, the Broncos have one cornerback spot solidified and the other two spots unsettled.

If Parks were to be re-signed, the Broncos would have options in the slot not only with he and Callahan but Duke Dawson as well.

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I like the idea of Parks being a second contract player in Denver especially after we saw his productivity down the stretch this past season as the primary nickel. He can thrive in that role in Fangio’s defense.

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