The Green Bay Packers ranked 25th against the pass and 31st in opponent passer rating last season.
They took a big step toward rectifying that huge problem with the first pick of Friday’s second round by selecting Washington cornerback Kevin King.
Huge … pun intended.
King measured in at 6-foot-3 right on the dot at the Scouting Combine. While general manager Ted Thompson doesn’t draft short cornerbacks, he also doesn’t draft tall corners. The tallest cornerback selected by Thompson was Mike Hawkins (6-1 1/4) in the fifth round in 2005. Since picking Davon House (6-0 ½) in 2011, Thompson’s cornerback picks were Casey Hayward (5-11 3/8), Micah Hyde (5-11), Damarious Randall (5-10 7/8) and Quinten Rollins (5-11 1/8).
King started at safety as a sophomore in 2014 before moving to cornerback for his final two seasons. During those two years, he tallied five interceptions and a total of 29 passes defensed. He had two picks and 15 passes defensed as a senior.
He had an unbelievable Scouting Combine. It wasn’t just the 4.43-second clocking in the 40-yard dash but it was 6.56 in the three-cone drill and 3.89 in the 20-yard shuttle – both the fastest at the Combine – and a 39.5-inch vertical.
“Not too many guys are used to having that constant pest on them, nasty and long,” King said at the Scouting Combine. “And I'm going to get the ball. When the ball's in the air, that 50/50 ball isn't really 50/50. There are bigger guys in this league, and you've got to go up and get the ball.”
King certainly knows the game: His head coach at Bishop O’Down High School in Oakland was former NFL linebacker Hardy Nickerson and his defensive backs coach was former NFL safety Donovin Darius.
The Packers hold pick No. 61 of the second round and No. 93 of the third round.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.