Often overshadowed in the same defensive backfield which featured the likes of fellow blue-chip prospects such as Sidney Jones and Budda Baker, Kevin King was a staple for Washington’s secondary this past season on their way to their debut CFB Playoff appearance. He finished 2016 as an honorable mention All-Pac 12 while posting a team-high 13 pass breakups in his senior year.
Following the season, King looked like a solid NFL Draft prospect, but after a tremendous showing at the NFL Scouting Combine where he posted arguably the best numbers of anyone participating in the event in Indianapolis, he has since seen a skyrocket in draft stock. King went on to run a 4.43 40-yard dash which is just staggering for a corner measuring in at 6’3”. It didn’t end there as he posted the top times in both the 3-Cone Drill (6.56) and 20-Yard Shuttle (3.89) of any cornerback at the Combine.
King started 12 games at free safety as a sophomore in 2015. Some scouts even think a transition to safety is in the cards for King at the next level. An anonymous West Coast regional scout stated, “might see a team try to make him a free safety.” Where is he actually suited best in the NFL? Read up below.
Former Washington Husky Kevin King made some money today with the BEST workout of ALL 300 plus prospects attending #NFLCombine
— Tony Softli (@SoftliSEA) March 6, 2017
Name: Kevin King
Draft Grade: 4th Round
Combine Results: 40 Yard Dash: 4.43 – Bench Press: 11 Reps – Vertical Jump: 39.5” – 3-Cone Drill: 6.56 – 20-Yard Shuttle: 3.89
Even though you’ve probably seen it already, I couldn’t watch Kevin King and not post this ridiculous one-handed INT #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/2AakSFa39d — Jonathan Valencia (@JonValencia_WiB) March 20, 2017
Positives: Rare size/length at the cornerback position. Uses length to make plays on the ball. Plus movement skills as he displayed at the Combine. Aside from a 4.43 40-yard dash, posted the best times of any corners in the 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. Matches movement against double-moves well. Flashed playmaking ability with one-handed interception against Arizona State (2016). Jolts into the backfield. Uses hands and length well to maintain contact with receiver over the middle of the field. High character guy – given Tyee Sports Council Community Service Award at team banquet.
Negatives: Looks as if he’s sticking his arm up to get cell phone reception on stick at point of attack. Raw hand technique and tends to angle body away. Doesn’t hold up in press coverage. Leans with head on engagement at times. Fails to stick with man throughout extended plays. Struggles to cleanly shift momentum. Shows lack of quickness in footwork on body transition. Struggles to diagnose plays. Looks fidgety and rocks back and forth until something develops. Liability in zone due to lack of quickness to react to plays Confusion sets in against bunch formations. Takes poor angles into the backfield on blitzes. Offers close to nothing in run support and looks to have no interest in that phase of the game. Rarely attacks and sometimes shields away from contact. Too predictable as a tackler as he frequently launches himself towards the ball carrier. Any type of tackling technique is absent. Lacks overall strength.
Outlook: There’s a lot to like about Kevin King – but they’re mostly physical traits. He has an ultra rare combination of size, length and speed. However, he offers limited, raw coverage skills and does nothing as a tackler or as a run defender. He does have some tools and possesses the ability to make those splash play with good ball skills. Considering he needs a lot of grooming, I have him at a 4th-5th round grade, although he will likely land at some point on Day 2 and the possibility to go ahead of teammates Baker and Jones is not too farfetched after Jones’ Achilles injury during his Pro Day workouts. King’s game demands superior coaching, which is a lot harder to find than you would think for defensive backs. Seattle seems like a perfect fit.