In the days and weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, CardinalsSource will profile 30 draft prospects who could end up making their way to Arizona this offseason.
Player: Kevin King
Weight: 200 pounds
Arm length: 32 inches
Hand size: 9 1/2 inches
College stats: 2013: 17 tackles, one pass defended, 2014: 64 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one interception, three passes defended, 2015: 39 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, five passes defended, three interceptions, 2016: 44 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 13 passes defended, two interceptions
Strengths: You don't even need to turn on the tape with King to know he has the type of measurables that scouts love in defensive backs. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, King has the prototypical size NFL teams are looking for, and his 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine confirmed King has the requisite speed to play cornerback successfully in the NFL. When you do turn on the tape, though, it's easy to see why King's name is being thrown around as a potential top-10 pick, and it's because of the way he tracks the football and competes for the ball at its highest point. King does an excellent job recovering when he's out of phase, and he times his leaps well --as evidenced by the 13 passes he defended in 2016. Another attribute of King's we noticed is that when he dissects a play early, he's capable of using his frame to his advantage and racing past blocks to tackle ball carriers or receivers close to the line of scrimmage. If King sees a play developing and knows a ball carrier is headed to his side of the field, he possesses natural instincts and redirection skills that typically put him in a solid place to make a tackle.
Weaknesses: There's so much to like about the way King recovers when he's out of phase that sometimes it's easy to forget that for various reasons, he finds himself struggling to track a receiver's initial movements. While King had the speed to make up for occasional slow reactions or misreads at the college level, this is the type of issue that an NFL offense can expose, particularly when King is lined up against outside receivers capable of beating him vertically with double moves. In our estimation, one of King's primary weaknesses is that even though he's often in position to compete for the ball with physicality, he does so with more finesse which will allow him to be bullied by professional receivers in the air. King's body positioning is often strong, but he doesn't stand his ground particularly well when he's competing for the football which could be an issue in red zone situations. Lastly, King is probably a better zone defender than a press man defender, and that could hurt him in the eyes of a team like the Cardinals.
King's fit: Is King the player the Cardinals will go all-in on with the 13th overall pick? If he's still on the board, it's going to create an interesting situation for general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians because there's so many different ways the Cardinals could take advantage of King's skill set. During his career at Washington, King played both safety and cornerback and proved he was capable of playing at either spot, which suggests a team like Arizona that loves players with positional flexibility would be a great fit for King. Additionally, the Cardinals love speed, and King ran an impressive 40-yard dash time at the Combine. The main issue with King's fit in Arizona is that we don't think he's an exceptional press man defender, and if the Cardinals are going to take a cornerback at 13, that's likely the type of player Arizona would be looking for. While there's definitely ways King and Arizona could make this partnership work, it wouldn't come as a surprise if Arizona passed on King in favor of another defensive back, a wide receiver or a quarterback when the Cardinals are on the clock on Thursday night.