Eagles free agent grades: Will Parks

Andrew Kulp
NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles couldn't possibly plug Jalen Mills in at safety without at least some sort of experienced Plan B.

Enter Will Parks, who made 15 career starts in four seasons with the Broncos. That may not sound like much, but he actually had a fairly prominent role in Denver's defense, playing at least 50% of the defense's snaps in each of the last three years.

Though he's listed as a safety, Parks worked in quite a bit at slot corner as well. It's unclear what his specific role will be with the Eagles. Naturally, that versatility helps.

A one-year, $1.6 million contract may lend the appearance he's strictly an insurance policy. Yet, if Mills or a high draft pick (a scenario everybody needs to consider now) manage to adequately replace Malcolm Jenkins, Parks will still have an opportunity to carve out a niche as the Eagles' third safety -- not an unimportant job in the Eagles' D.

Should Jenkins' successor struggle, Parks could certainly warrant an extended look. With $1 million of his contract guaranteed, he'll probably be here regardless. Having two hybrid defensive backs may even allow the Eagles to do some interesting things schematically.

Parks is similar to Mills in several ways. Similar athleticism, similar builds with Parks being a bit bigger at 6-foot-1, 208 pounds. Both will be 26, both late-round picks in the 2016 draft - Parks in the sixth, Mills in the seventh.

The difference is Parks has actually performed the tasks at this level that Mills will apparently be asked to do now, and he will be doing them for substantially less money. There's a very real chance Parks could wind up the starter. There's a better chance he sees significant action as he and Mills are moved and flipped based on the opponent or situation.

Then there's also the strong likelihood these low-risk, inexpensive moves are just paving the way for the addition of another safety on Day 1 or 2 the draft. Either way, adding Parks to the mix can't hurt.

Grade: B

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Eagles free agent grades: Will Parks originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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