Scouting Report: Desmond King, CB

A relative unknown at the start of the season, Desmond King may now be one of the hottest names at the corner position. Will he even be around when the Patriots pick?

A relative unknown at the start of the season, Desmond King may now be one of the hottest names at the corner position. Will he even be around when the Patriots pick?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

This has got to be the craziest season I  can remember watching the Patriots.  Injuries have come at an incredible rate this year and now it has almost become laughable.  It is hard to gauge what this team will really need when the season comes to an end (hopefully with the Patriots hoisting the Lombardi Trophy again.)  One position that has stayed healthy throughout the season has been corner, and thankfully so.  The team is paper thin at the position when everyone is healthy and the group as a whole has more questions than answers.  Today, I take a path down the dark side and write a review on Iowa Hawkeyes standout Corner, Desmond King.

As I have stated many times before, I am an Iowa State graduate and a hardcore fan of the Cyclones.  This is not an easy task when it comes to football because, well lets face, they just aren’t very good and never really have been.  Being a Cyclone fan does mean we hate everything Hawkeyes as well.  So, for me to sit down and watch six Hawkeyes games, including re-watching the Cyclones meltdown again, it has to be for a good reason.  King is that reason. I can look past the jersey and give a fair and honest assessment of what I saw from his tape.

Name: Desmond King

School: University of Iowa (Jr.)

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 200 Lbs.


King has good size for the position and is said to have long arms which allows him to play even bigger.  He exclusively lines up on the right side of the field and is asked to defend the other teams best wide receiver most of the time.  King can play press, off-man, and zone coverage and looks comfortable doing so.  He has good enough speed, but seems to have a burst when closing on his man.  He has fluid hips and change of direction.  King plays with confidence and aggressiveness.  He has versatility, he can play in the slot or outside and he can return punts and kicks.  King shows toughness to fight through blocks and make a tackle.  He has been a starter since he was a freshman and his game has improved every year.  King shows a great knack for locating the ball and making the play on it.  One thing I really like is that he can turn his head, locate the ball, and still stay with the receiver. He does not seem to panic when the ball is in the air and uses his hands well to disrupt the receiver but to no interfere with them. He has great hands and is a threat to create a turnover every time the ball is thrown in his direction.


King primarily plays with his hips open at the snap which has led to some bad habits in his footwork.  He can get turned around and off balance when a savvy receiver runs a good route or a combination route.  He is ultra aggressive in every aspect of his game which leads to biting on fakes and he can be a bit over zealous even after the whistle.  King must work on his hand fighting when playing press.  Too often he lunges at the receiver and misses, giving his opponent a free release.  His run support and tackling are inconsistent, but it did improve as the season went on and was very good by the end of the season. If he continues to show up like he did in the second half of the season, then there will be no issue, but I want to know why he looked uninterested in earlier games.  King has good speed, but he may struggle to have the range needed to stick with the faster receivers in the NFL.


I feel dirty typing these words, but I really like King.  One thing that stuck out to me is that he does not lose speed or his awareness of where the guy he is defending is when he looks back for the ball.  So many times we see corners who are really fast when running, but they get out of control and lose track of what they are doing when they have to look back for the ball.  A lot of times, it looks like King is the guy running the route and he has excellent ball skills.  He wins primarily on his athleticism and his awareness right now and he has to clean up his footwork, but the tools are there for him to be very successful in the NFL.  Like I said in his negatives, his run support in the later games this year was night and day to his earlier games. Hopefully it was a confidence thing and not an effort thing, because I really like his aggressive mentality in run support and tackling in those later games.  I think his unpolished technique could keep him out of the first round, but I don’t think he makes it to the end of the second, so if this is the guy the Patriots want to target, they may have to move up to get him.









9 Responses to “Scouting Report: Desmond King, CB”

  1. john says:

    My ideal draft, as of right now:

    2. OJ Howard TE: I know it seems ridiculous, given we have Gronk, but he doesn’t mind doing dirty work and is ultra-talented. Would be a supreme TE complement, and incredible depth/insurance in case of injury. Probably a long-shot that he’s available here, but I think value would be excellent. Saban-guy.

    3. Kyle Murphy OT: Superb in pass protection, comes from excellent program. Measurable’s and makeup are off the chart, as well. Him, Howard, and Cooper should all be targets between rounds 2 and 3. Program Belichick has been focusing on.

    3. Erik Striker OLB/HYB: Depth, depth, and more depth. Smaller, but excellent athleticism, speed, and pursuit. Lines of up all over the field, even though he gets dwarfed when asked to put hand in dirt. Program Belichick has been focusing on.

  2. John says:

    I like the idea of CB depth, but why draft one so high? Especially given that Logan Ryan, and Malcolm Butler have proven more than competent. I think a classy veteran CB would be a nice addition, to help to continue the development of those two.

    A position that I would like to see addressed somewhat early would WR, maybe even a smaller, slot WR. The reason being is that Amendola is pretty expensive, and Edelman gets hurt a lot. I’m not saying either should be replaced, or isn’t playing well, it’s just that if one goes down (or is gone) for an extended period of time the offense struggles mightily. I think it shows how important that position is to the offense. They’ve also proven to not adequately develop outside receivers.

    Positions I would like to see the Patriots focus on OLine, RB, WR (both slot, X, and Y), or some LB depth, or OJ Howard if available.

    Prospects of my own liking:

    OL: John Theus, Kyle Murphy, Tyler Marz, Josh Garnett, Christian Westermann
    RB: Jordan Howard, CJ Prosise, Alex Collins
    TE: OJ Howard
    WR: Pharaoh Cooper, Will Fuller, Sterling Shepard, Braxton Miller, Demarcus Ayers (love him/sleeper)
    LB: Erik Striker, Skai Moore, Deion Jones, Joshua Perry

    • Ryan says:

      I love Ayers as well as Shepherd, but I’m not sure we need any more wide receivers under 6 feet tall. It’s tough because they’re great players but we really need a bigger receiving corps.

      • john says:

        They’ve had more production from veteran signees/trades like LaFell. They’ve been able to develop guys like Edelman, Branch, etc. I think that a good, solid veteran WR signing would be a better use of resources.

        TEs and slot receivers are their bread and butter, in terms of developing and finding talent from the draft. You don’t run the risk of missing a beat when guys like Amendola, Edelman, etc. move on.

  3. Jeff says:

    With Mayo looking a bit more like himself of late, is it too optimistic to think that the Pats may be able to trade him in the off-season for salary cap relief? What about Amendola? I’m a bit skeptical, but even some late round picks could help the Pats build low-cost depth and special teams and save free agent money for extensions for players like Collins, Hightower, Jones, and Sheard.

  4. Ryan says:

    Love your scouting reports because you guys really seem to enjoy doing them. I hope to see a few of my favorites in there eventually, but you guys do a great job no matter who it is your scouting. Right now I’m high on Spencer Drango, Joe Haeg, Rashard Higgins, Tajae Sharpe, Miles Killebrew and William Jackson III, in no particular order.

  5. Adam says:

    Don’t feel dirty. Nothing wrong with appreciating a great player.

  6. Russell says:

    King is an interesting prospect on my Patriots draft board. No-way he goes in the first round, and the second is more likely. His tackling in the run game is troubling, but his ball skills are a plus. Right now I have him behind, CB/S Sean Davis, and CB William Jackson III, who could be on the board when the Patriots choose.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Sounds like you and I are seeing him in the same light. His tackling really improved as the year went on, but he looked so uninterested in his early games that I hope it isn’t a motivation thing.
      His technique from a footwork standpoint is where I see he needs to make the most improvement.

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