Will an East Coast CB extend his stay in AZ?

At the NFL Combine, the Cardinals scouted a cornerback whose elite speed is a much-needed asset in Arizona's secondary. This defensive back is already working out in Cardinals' territory and wouldn't mind staying. Amberly Richardson spent time with this player in Indianapolis to see how he would fit with the Cardinals.

The Cardinals scouts liked what they saw out of Penn State cornerback Justin King at the NFL Combine. He made up for his smaller frame (5'11", 192 pounds) with speed and athleticism, running a blistering 4.31 in the 40-yard dash.

His wheels aside, King is currently working on his technique and strength in Arizona. He hopes to silent the critics who think he can't hang with pro receivers. King believes he can gain weight without sacrificing speed, and the scales in Indianapolis proved he is on the right track.

"I've read that I need to gain weight but I think I weighed in a little heavier than everyone thought I was," King said. "I think my size will help me."

King likes his chances in the NFL if he can change his game in two ways.

"I feel like I need to improve on my transition out of my backpedal," King said. "Also, to close on receivers a little bit faster and playing the deep ball. I feel like if I master those two things I can propel my football skills to another level."

King is a quick learner and an accountable defender. He has a high IQ on the field and in the classroom, earning his degree in just three years.

"I think that was a big thing to get my degree in three years so I had the option," he said. "My parents always told me that when you have your education you have more options, so take that serious, get that done and you have the option to play football (in the NFL) or go back and play college football. It all worked out the way I kind of planned."

The decision to opt out of his senior year was a collaborated effort.

"I gave it some thought. I sat down, prayed about it, talked to my family about it, my coaches. At the end of the day, I had to make my decision and I didn't feel like going back for another year."

After the Combine, King packed up and headed back to Arizona to continue his pre-draft preparations. The prospect of making Arizona his permanent home brought a smile to King's face.

"It's lovely. It's a beautiful place," he said.

King is confident he can hang with the best receivers the NFL has to offer. However, he declined to call out anyone in particular when asked who he is most excited to match up with.

"I wouldn't make that invitation," he said.

Hopefully, the Cardinals will do that for him.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications.


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