#43 George Iloka, Safety
College: Boise State
Hometown: Houston, TX
Experience: 1 Year
Last year, the Bengals drafted Boise State safety George in the fifth round after the All-Mountain West Conference performer endured a draft-day slide. He was considered by many to be the draft’s first or second-best safety prospect, and was viewed as a steal where Cincinnati got him.
In 53 career games at BSU, Iloka registered with 45 starts in which he recorded 232 tackles, 15 tackles-for-loss, seven interceptions and 17 passes defensed. He did this while starting games at both safety and cornerback.
Regarded as a hard-hitting safety, Iloka also possesses the size to match up with tight ends around the league, and with a 4.52 40-yard dash, Iloka can run with most wide receivers in the league. He’s a perfect fit for Zimmer’s defense, as he’s capable of blitzing off the edge, he’s durable enough to hold up in run-support, and could move down into the slot and cover TEs or slot receivers on passing downs.
Iloka didn’t get much playing time last season, with Clements and Crocker getting the majority of the snaps at strong safety, and Reggie Nelson remains supplanted into his free safety role.