Coming into college playing defense at the highest level was an expectation for Kevin King as he played for former NFL linebacker Hardy Nickerson as a high schooler in Oakland.
King met those expectations, being an honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick at cornerback the past two seasons. Using his height and length he made 39 tackles, three interceptions and five pass break-ups in 2015. In 2016 he improved with 44 tackles; 3.5 of those were for loss, two interceptions and a team high 13 pass break-ups.
In 2016 he also made an incredible one-handed interception in the end zone against Arizona St., which was one of the best plays in all of college football. Last year the Packers had a historically bad year covering the pass and King could make an immediate impact on the team.
King’s biggest asset is that he possesses rare height and size for the cornerback position. He stands an impressive 6’3”, weighs 200 lbs. and has 32-inch arm length. His size allows him to bully receivers especially on the outside.
He also creates a challenge for receivers who like to go up for jump balls as he has a great instinct for finding the football. Most impressive is he only allowed one touchdown in his last 101 targets along with 6 career interceptions. The other things that make him a solid player is his ability to play all four spots in the secondary including the slot as well as his patience in press coverage.
According to scouts, speed is his biggest concern. He had a s
olid outing at the combine running a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, a 6.56 in the 3-cone drill and a 3.89 in the 20-yard shuttle but game play especially professionally is much different.
In the press, especially on quick-release passes he has sluggish feet and at times he’s unable to find the speed to make up ground. He also has a challenge making sudden changes in direction when covering.
Lastly, he lacks an NFL level of upper-body strength which raises problems in his jabs and his tackling as he’s not a physical tackler. This causes him to attempt too many arm tackles which will not benefit him in the NFL.
When will he be drafted?
In many big boards, King is slated as the fourth best cornerback in the draft. His size and college experience gives him high potential for NFL teams in need for a corner. He is projected as a late first to early second round pick which is where the Packers are currently.
Where does he fit on the Packers?
In my opinion, what the Packers lacked was a true big, physical coverage man that not only gave them a competitive edge but through physical play it would give them a psychological edge. All great defenses have that type of player like Seattle has seen success with. He still needs plenty of development but he has potential through the roof and the Packers could use him even this year.
There’s a chance the Packers won’t go corner in the first since the draft has a very deep cornerback pool. They are in desperate need of depth and talent in the secondary and they need to fill it with someone of potential and talent and not an undrafted free-agent or safety converted to corner like they have been for years at the position.