2017 NFL Draft
Scouting Report
Prospect:  Desmond King


School:          Iowa
Ht:  5'11"       Wt:  185
Eligibility:      SR
Uniform:       #14
Position:      CB

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The returning Jim Thorpe award-winner has little to prove on the field with his efforts as a senior. Following a terrific junior campaign, scouts have a good idea of the skill-set that King possesses. What remains unclear, is where exactly those skills fit as a professional? While the majority of his work may be at corner, he has seen some time at safety and on the inside as a slot, and both could be possible fits for him as an NFL defender.

The thing that stands out most with King is his ball skills. He does an exceptional job of locating the ball in the air and attacking it. He high-points the ball well and extends his hands like a receiver. When it's in his hands, he has the ability to take it to the house, which also shows up as a return man. He has very good awareness, especially in zone-coverage where he reads the quarterback's eyes well. That seems to be where he is most comfortable. When the play is in front of him, he is a very good player. He also has a good eye for routes which helps him in the slot where he doesn't give much separation.

As a tackler, he is well above average. He drives hard on screens and short routes, and in the open field, he tends to be very safe. He puts himself in good position and is especially smart against bigger players. He goes low, grabs onto to a leg, and holds on tight. It is also refreshing to see him step up when he is playing the run with no receiver to his side of the field. He challenges lead blockers and forces the play back inside which is vital for a player with outside contain.

As mentioned earlier, he is position versatile which is good because I don't think he has elite footwork or overall speed to play corner in every system. He also doesn't have the length or size to make up for not being an elite athlete. With that being said I do think he could hold up in a more zone-heavy scheme. I also think he has the frame to add some weight and play a hybrid safety-corner role. Guys like Tyrann Mathieu or former-Hawkeye, Micah Hyde have had success in similar roles, and I think that might be the best overall fit for him in the NFL.

Regardless of where he plays, this is a guy that is going to be highly-coveted by NFL teams because he has a knack for getting his hands on the ball. The turnover battle is essential in football, and this guy makes it happen. He is also a terrific teammate and has no character red flags that I have heard. Look for him to be one of the top seniors off the board next April.

Compares to (Current NFL Player): Micah Hyde (Green Bay Packers)

- Knack for getting hands on ball and terrific ball skills
- Good instincts in coverage
- Reads plays well in front of him
- Versatile player with return ability
- Solid, smart tackler

- Doesn't possess elite speed or agility
- Size is average
- Won't fit well in man-heavy schemes

Austin Smith
September 10, 2016

1)   Desmond King prepares to complete unfinished business at Iowa   - Quad City Times/i>
2)   Iowa Hawkeyes CB Desmond King: Likely B1Gs Best NFL Draft Prospect   - The Sports Bank
3)   The 16 most irreplaceable college football players taking the field in 2016    - CBSSports.com
4)   Desmond King Twitter
5)   Desmond King Instagram

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