Name: Kevin King
Position fit: Outside cornerback
Stats to know: Didn’t allow a single touchdown in 2016 and just one in his last 28 college games.
What he does well:
- He has prototype NFL size, speed and measurables. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, he posted a 4.43 second 40 time, jumped almost 40 inches in the vertical and had elite measurables in other drills.
- He has great hands. Only had two interceptions in 2016, but they were spectacular and he showed the ability to make hands catches receivers struggle with, as well as high-point the football and make tough plays.
- Shows a good feel for zone plays, at times breaking off his primary threat to make a play on a secondary receiver after reading the QB’s eyes.
- Is good in press coverage, squeezing receivers to the sideline and giving them no space to work with. Allowed just three catches from 17 targets on go routes in 2016.
- He has an excellent pass breakup radius, with length, height and leaping ability making it very hard to fit the football past him when he is in the area.
- Can get lost on horizontal-breaking routes underneath, allowed 12 of 14 targets to be caught on slants and out routes in 2016.
- Struggled against raw speed of Cal’s Demetrius Robertson, getting beat deep a couple of times and didn’t gave the wheels to recover. Should have surrendered a TD on one of the plays but Robertson stepped out. Needs to get his hands on a receiver to prevent that big play disaster against speed.
- Misses some tackles, with 10 in coverage last year alone, but he comes up quickly against the run and shoots in low. Will make some big positive plays to offset those misses.
- Is less fluid against quickness underneath and is much more comfortable when he is within contact range of a receiver, which can lead to getting a bit too grabby sometimes. Had just three penalties last year, but more that would have been flagged in the NFL.
Player comparison: Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
At the moment, King is far more inconsistent than Sherman, so this is something of a “poor man’s…” comparison, but his strengths and weaknesses are the same, and he has arguably better physical tools to work with than Sherman does, so may have the same ceiling. King has the length and ball skills that make completing passes on him when he is in phase extremely difficult, but is also exploitable in the same ways underneath as the Seattle stud.
Bottom line: King isn’t the finished article yet, but he has huge upside and talent as well as being one of the few corners in this class that fits the current NFL prototype to the letter as if he had been drawn up in a general manager’s Frankenstein laboratory. There are inconsistencies to his game, and he may struggle underneath against quicker, shifty receivers, but he could become a high-level shutdown player deep down the field and has the ball skills to create turnovers as well as just limit receptions.