4 prospects Bengals could regret passing on in 2023 NFL Draft

Oct 7, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Houston Cougars defensive lineman Derek Parish (0) sacks
Oct 7, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Houston Cougars defensive lineman Derek Parish (0) sacks / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Derek Parish, EDGE (Houston)

Another player selected in the seventh round who should have been on the Bengals' radar was edge rusher, Derek Parish. 

Unfortunately for the Houston edge defender, he only played in four games this past season. In those games, he recorded 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and 20 total tackles. Heading into the third game of the season, Parish led the nation in quarterback pressures. Oh yeah, he did all that with a cast on his hand. 

Parish was unblockable versus Texas Tech. If you didn’t know better, you would think he was on his way to being a first-round pick. And maybe he was. 

Parish got better year over year. He was definitely on his way to a breakout season of epic proportions in 2022 before his season ended. 

When on defense, Parish could stand up as an edge or play from a three-point stance like a classic 4-3 defensive end. This is something that Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo loves to do with Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard.

The 24-year-old’s athletic profile is off the charts. He tested in the top 94% in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump, 98% in the shuttle and the three-cone drill, and 82% in the broad jump. 

Perhaps Parish was in the Bengals’ plans in the seventh round. Unfortunately, he did not make it to 246 as he was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 240th pick. 

PFF graded Jacksonville’s pick as “above average” and stated, “Parish generated a 91.2 pass-rush grade with six sacks in less than four full games this year before tearing his biceps. His short-term development will depend on his recovery."

Injury aside, for a Cincinnati defense that is desperately searching for more ways to bring down the opposing quarterback, missing out on a potentially potent pass-rusher so late in the draft could be something the team regrets.