The Steelers have been showing interest in bringing in a tall cornerback via free agency, but has come up short. They could land one via the NFL Draft in April. Here is a candidate for that role:
6′ 3″ 200lbs
What’s to like: Elite size for the position. Can play any scheme well, successful in both man to man and zone coverage. Very good outside of the numbers, gives receiver a restricted window to catch the football. According to NFL.com, King has played all four spots in the secondary, as well as slot corner. Very good ball skills, whether it be breaking up passes or intercepting them. Does well with his back to the quarterback and with the ball in the air. When he wraps up, he is a very efficient and reliable tackler. Allowed only one touchdown over his last 101 targets, per NFL.com. Still raw, has a lot of potential.
Concerns: Can get too handsy, may progress to future holding calls in the NFL. Has trouble keeping up with speed receivers downfield. Quick receivers beat him off the line of scrimmage, needs to pack more of a punch. Inconsistent in disengaging to support the run. Allows inside leverage to shifty receivers. Needs to work on wrapping up when tackling, leads low with shoulder too often. Minor injury concerns, missed five games due to injury in his first three years, according to NFL.com. Needs to add more upper body strength.
Verdict: Still raw at cornerback, King stepped up his senior season to stay healthy and be the ying to opposite cornerback Sidney Jones’ yang. The tall cornerback ran a 4.43 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine. If drafted by the Steelers, he will follow the same path as 2016 1st round pick Artie Burns. King started his career at safety and transitioned to cornerback, but given time, I think he could play cornerback and free safety at a high level. I would welcome King to start opposite Burns, giving the Steelers two tall, athletic corners who can play man to man.
2016 Stats: 44 tackles (26 solo), 3.5 TFL, 2 INT, 13 PBU
Grade: 2nd Round
Games watched: Colorado 2016, USC 2016, Alabama 2016, Arizona State 2016
Stats courtesy: Sports-Reference, NFL.com
Photo courtesy: HuskyHaul
Video courtesy: DraftBreakdown.com