2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Washington CB Kevin King

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

Kevin King/CB Washington – 6’3 200

The Good

– Rare size with good length (32 inch arms)
– Uses size and length to his advantage, physical at the LOS and does excellent job with hand use to disrupt receivers off the line, won’t often be smaller than player he’s going up against
– Surprising fluidity in his turn out of pedal and has good feet moving backwards, thrives in man coverage
– Aggressive with the ball in the air and uses his length to play the pocket
– High effort player who chases the football in the run game
– Seems to embrace and shows desire to play the run
– Not just a press corner, experience in off man and bail technique
– Mixes up his plan of attack at the line of scrimmage, has subtle fakes with his hands to throw WR off and keep him guessing
– Put up elite numbers at the Combine
– Versatility, cornerback/safety experience

The Bad

– Can be too aggressive with the ball in the air, lose track of the receiver, and struggles to play the pocket compete at catch points on throws downfield because he’s going for the big play
– Inconsistent tackler, gives effort but most do better job of coming to balance, too out of control and often aims too high or low
– Too often gets by and size and leads with his shoulder as a tackle, has to see what he hits
– Didn’t have gaudy production and accolades you’d expect for size and overall talent level
– Lacks a ton of time at cornerback


– 22 career starts at cornerback, 12 at safety
– Career: 164 tackles, 22 pass deflections, 6 INTs
– 2016: 44 tackles, 13 pass deflections, 2 INTs
– Ran a 4.43, jumped 39.5 inches, and turned in a 3.89 short shuttle (one of two DBs to do so) at the Combine
– Pac-12 honorable mention in 2015 and 2016
– Won team’s Community Service award in 2016
– Missed three total games, two freshmen year, bowl game in 2015, with unknown injuries

Tape Breakdown

King might have been perched at the top of my list of guys I needed to check out following a spectacular Combine performance. Dude lit it up and arguably had the best tests of anyone, perhaps even ahead of Obi Melifonwu because King went through the shuttle drills.

Either way, he was a guy to be excited about, especially given the lack of depth at the position in Pittsburgh. Does his tape agree? I won’t leave you in suspense. Yes it does.

He’s a hyper athlete and it’s easy to forget the guy is a legit 6’3. He’s so smooth in his backpedal, shows no stiffness in his turn, and carries his weight really well.

But what you’re going to hear about him the most, and what you’re dying to know, is if his play lives up to his build. And it does. King’s length is a tiny bit disappointing at 32 inches but he plays big and physical at the line. Hand use is good a forceful punch that will definitely disrupt the timing of routes. At the top of the screen, watch him lock up this receiver.

He can make plays off that too. Aggressive player with great vision to the ball and ability to finish. Again, locks up the receiver in the red zone, finds the ball, and makes a sick one-handed catch. Best play of his you’ll see.

And that length pops up with the ball in the air and King trailing. He’s aggressive, a laser-like focus on the football, and uses his length to make plays even when he’s slightly out of position.

Yeah…that’s something not everyone can do. He and Artie Burns would disrupt a lot of catch points.

King’s reputation is a poor tackler and sure…he’s not great at it. He has to be more controlled, break down, and wrap up. You’ll see him miss in space on this screen and the play goes for a huge gainer.

But he shows effort, runs to the ball, and I think he’s interested in the run. So you can work with it, get him to buy in pretty easily, and I don’t see it as a huge concern long-term. Maybe some rough patches early on but not enough to detract me from drafting him.

King is the real deal and obviously, there are parallels between he and Burns. And King will check every box of what the Steelers look for and let’s be honest, what any team looks for. Maybe I was a little too strong coming off the Combine thinking he’d be in the top 20 but it’s hard not to imagine him going in the Top 40 of this year’s draft. Too much potential, too much athleticism, too many big plays.

Projection: Late 1st-Early Second

Games Watched: at Boise State (2015), vs USC, vs Arizona State, vs Colorado

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun WatsonHaason ReddickMarshon LattimoreCorey ClementTim Williams
Jourdan LewisTakkarist McKinleyBrad KaayaNathan PetermanO.J. Howard
Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJoshua DobbsJordan LeggettSamaje Perine
Corn ElderBucky HodgesJames ConnerCooper KuppStanley Williams
Fred RossJamaal WilliamsGeorge KittleEjuan PriceChris Wormley
Jeremy McNicholsJoe MathisDerek BarnettAmba Etta-TawoGareon Conley
Taco Charlton Elijah McGuireRyan SwitzerTanoh KpassagnonTre’Davious White
Brian HillMatthew DayesDonnel PumphreyJosh ReynoldsNazair Jones
De’Veon SmithDavis WebbObi MelifonwuTJ WattJohn Ross
Jerod EvansVince BiegelJosh CarrawayJosh Malone

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • CuldesacBill

    This is certainly a deep group of CB’s. Could they take one in the first round two years in a row? I still think they’ll take an edge rusher in the first round this year. I think both positions are a Ned in this year’s draft.

  • Spencer Krick

    There are so many good DBs in this draft, someone is going to fall to the Steelers in the 2nd round. I’d rush up to the podium for King.

  • 4130steeler

    Let these other teams sign FA Cb’s just going to push More talent in the draft down for us and save us money to resign our own. Been watching some film of Howard Wilson from Houston and looks better than the combine numbers would indicate. Love for you to do a breakdown and see what you think of him

  • blackandgoldBullion

    When the Steelers said they would concentrate on O line they drafted them pretty high for 3 straight years. They could easily pick them early and more than one.

    SD should list a top 50. Then have people vote which guys are sure fire round 1 guys. Double check with all the supposed draft gurus. I bet you get close to 45 guys on the eventual list. Go out to the second round and it gets crazy.

    Well over 100 guys will have something like this mentioned: You will never get him past the second round. But there are only 64 picked in the first 2 rounds. Obviously guys will drop.

  • J Jones

    Love this class of dbs. We can actually grab 2 of these guys and find a potential starting pass rusher (watt in the 1st maybe?) Cant wait til the draft

  • J Jones

    My thoughts exactly, im gonna scream if we bring in patrick robinson or flowers as a priority FA with so many options in the draft. Id get over it, but id scream nonetheless

  • AndyR34

    Alex – at some point before the draft, but after you get deeper into the DB’s, would you write an article ranking all the ones that have been profiled? THX.

  • J Jones

    Who are u eyeballing in the first, right now? Of course its subject to change

  • AndyR34

    That ‘echo’ would be me!

  • AndyR34

    Sorry…I posted before seeing your request.

  • Doug Sawyer

    I know everyone says the conventional choice is edge rusher in the first…I’m not so sure.I think a guy like Jabrill Peppers kinda provides a lot of things you want and is more valuable than any pick edge pick that falls to us at 30 ….CB’s can be had in the 2nd and 3rd that would be rated a pick higher in prior drafts
    We would do as much to help our secondary getting a guy like Peppers and turning him into a safety
    plus gain an outstanding all around player

  • WreckIess

    I like him, but drafting him still leaves us with a need in the slot. Makes me wonder if they’ll double dip on corners in the draft?

  • Jason

    With NE adding Cooks yesterday it just makes CB an even bigger need. Cooks, Edelman, Hogan, Allen and Gronk is a nightmare scenario with Brady under center.

  • Ace

    Where would Peppers play/who’s snap would he take? He’s best as an in the box safety offering decent coverage and decent run support if anything. Would you sit Davis for JP? JP had one career pick and struggles in long field coverage. You gonna sit 5mill/year Mitchel over Peppers? Would you take Gay off the field and let JP play in the slot?

    I think Peppers could find a spot in the NFL, but it’s gonna be a struggle and it won’t be in Pitt. Michigan couldn’t find a real home for him because hes good/decent but not great at anything. He’s a guy you want on the field due to his raw athleticism but you can’t really put him anywhere specific. He’s kinda hard to commit a spot to. He’s 2017’s Shaq Thompson.

    For PS, where would Peppers play/who’s snaps would he take?

  • Doug Sawyer

    like everyone in the secondary they take time getting reps …he rotates in and out of slot or becomes a third safety when playing teams like the Pats who destroy us with pass catching TE’s…I honestly think Mitchel is a liability and having Davis/Peppers as a safety combo a year down the road sounds a lot better than what we have now

  • Doug Sawyer

    or adding a safety that can cover

  • Doug Sawyer

    we’d also get a return man in Peppers

  • Ace

    I’m all for upgrading the safety position. I don’t think its in need of a first rounder though. Especially and undersized guy playing out of position. I’m pretty happy with Davis, Golden, Dangerfield, Mitchell. MM could use an understudy, love to get a true deep coverage safety with plus ball skills. But that’s besides the point and not where the immediate need is. MM and SD will get all the safety snaps with Golden coming in when needed. That’s that. Peppers is a 4-3 OLB IMHO. I don’t want the PS taking him and forcing him into spots where he doesn’t need to be. And if they put three safety’s on the field, I would prefer JD or RG.

  • Ace

    That’s what they got Toussant for! Those sweet 16 yard KO returns.

  • Doug Sawyer

    I know…I’d just rather a guy who is committed to stopping the run when needed Peppers is that…and any edge guys we get is in the same boat with Harrison…they will sit behind him until Harrison is struck down by god…lol

  • Doug Sawyer


  • Eric Whyuwannaknow

    I just watched Wilson’s game against Cincinnati. One thing that stands out right away is that he isn’t afraid to get physical in run support. His pass coverage is very good. I would be very happy with this kid in a Steelers uni. Nice find.

  • Doug Sawyer

    btw peppers is 6’1 207…that’s beautiful size

  • Ike Evans

    I think you were right alex…..drafting king is a sign we are making big coverage changes

  • Applebite

    ….Obi Melifonwu is the cure.

  • Ace

    I think an EDGE guy will at the very least be able to rotate with Bud and JH. With the hope that he ends up taking the majority of JH snaps by then end. If you want a hybrid safety/Lb in the first go with Obi. That guy I can get on board with. He offers much more than Peppers.

  • Ace

    Nah, check his official combine measurements. Michigan was lying. 5-10 7/8 213 with stubby little arms.

  • LucasY59

    Getting Obi in the 1st and King in the 2nd would make a big change for the Steelers pass coverage (and a couple of guys that are way taller than the Secondary is used to having)

  • Alex Kozora

    Sure, that sounds like a good idea.

  • LucasY59

    I agree that Safety would be a good pick for the 1st, but Obi Melifonwu is the guy they should pick, does everything that Peppers does (but is better at it) he has GREAT size (which would make him good at covering TEs, which is a big weakness with the D) he is a Elite talent (combine was insane) and if he is available that is what they need in the 1st (OLB will be a good pick, but it will take a lot of luck for one of them to be elite)

    with Timmons leaving and Vince most likely the replacement as a Starter, they will need a guy they can sub in on passing downs, and Obi can step in right away (which makes picking a S when they already have 2 starters worth the 1st) Mitchell has 2 yrs left with the team and I think Melifonwu could take his starting spot by the beginning of next yr (also the depth behind the Starters isnt that great, Golden was decent 2 yrs ago but really struggled last yr)

    the Steelers D is at its best when they have good Safeties and pairing Davis with Melifonwu would make a great duo for the future

  • Doug Sawyer

    I’m not familiar with him…I’ll check him out

  • LucasY59

    The biggest concern is the lack of tackling, the D already struggles with that enough!

    but they could use help in coverage as well, so I wouldnt complain if the Steelers got him in the 2nd (his combine bumped up his stock, but IMO its from 3rd to 2nd, not 1st) picking him in the 1st would be another reach (but it would show that the Steelers are changing their philosophy on D, especially pass coverage)

  • LucasY59

    I think since they seem to be striking out on getting a FA, doubling up seems likely (its been something I have wanted them to do since the I saw how much Talent at the position there is in this draft, and the need to improve the coverage, both in the slot and outside)

  • AndyR34

    Say goodbye to an impact OLB!

  • AndyR34

    They tried it two years ago with Golson and Grant…didn’t work so well; they just have no skill at evaluating DB’s

  • LucasY59

    Im not super impressed with the OLBs in this draft, there is talent and depth but IMPACT OLB doesnt even seem likely with a 1st pick (unless you have the 1st overall pick like the clowns)

    I think there is still a few decent OLBs that will still be available in the 3rd

  • LucasY59

    that was because of need not talent (just like drafting a CB in the 1st last yr) IF there was decent talent in those two drafts there would be no need for a CB this yr, unluckily for the Steelers the last 2 drafts might have less combined talent than this yr CB class has by itself

  • Ace

    Alex, since you did them both and gave them both late first grades, who is a better fit for PS, King or Tre White? Got a preference?

  • Alex Kozora

    I like both. White could help you inside if the Steelers want to make a priority of that. But given how closely King resembles Burns, he might be their guy if forced to choose.

  • LucasY59

    I have been working on my personal top 100 and I am pretty sure the Steelers could get at least 3 if not 4 VERY good players this draft (and some of the guys they get will be guys that others are saying wont be available) this draft has a lot of good players and the top 2 rds will have guys drop that shouldnt be available that late in other drafts

  • Ace

    Slot upgrade still a bigger need IMO. BUT, would be pretty sweet to have two long athletic boundaries to trot out there. I still can’t see the PS going outside CB in the first. Last year they took Burns because they had lost Blake right? Seems like that was a definite need pick.

  • LucasY59

    I think Howard could be a good 3rd/4th rd pick, and since there is so much CB talent in this draft he should still be available (mainly because of his combine performance vs the other guys)

  • Ace

    Which is a roundabout way of saying, if White can play in side and out, I like him over King. Bring him in, put him behind Gay and teach him the ropes. Plus he is able to potentially cover outside if injury dictates.

  • LucasY59

    he played at UCONN, if you google his name Im sure you will find plenty on him, he is one of the big hype guys since the Combine (but his game tape is good even without the crazy measurables)

  • Alex Kozora

    Sure, that would be the allure.

  • NinjaMountie

    I’ve been critical of Peppers some as well. However, to be fair, you aren’t a Heisman finalist because you’re only good/decent at things. You also don’t play all over the field because you’re only good/decent. Actually, the fact that he was really good at so many things is why he was a HF and used all over the place; it’s also what kinda screwed him for the draft.
    Had Michigan stuck him at Safety exclusively and given him that experience and coaching we probably wouldn’t be talking about if he was a first round S or not as it would be a given.
    I think he’ll work out at S in the NFL. Still, I don’t want us to draft him because I want an OLB or CB at that pick.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I like Lawson but will wait until later after FA is really done to see what the roster looks like.

  • Ace

    Fair enough. Maybe I sold him short a little. He was a finalist, not sure why, I think his name and school are the reason but that just my theory. He’s a great athlete that plays football with some skills that I don’t think the PS have a direct need for considering what he will cost. If they draft him I won’t be too happy about it.

  • steelmann58

    I would not be very upset if he was drafted by our steelers

  • Hec

    Kevin King reminds me of a taller Ike Taylor with an ability to catch or intercept the ball. A cornerback like this would improve a zone blitz defensive coverage scheme.

  • Jon Crissinger

    Bad news about the other Washington CB. Sidney Jones hurt his leg and was carted off during the last bit of the pro day.

  • Jon Crissinger

    How far do you think Sidney Jones could fall?

  • Alex Kozora

    Somewhere into Day Two.

  • Alan Tman

    How about doing one on Ahkello Witherspoon. I think this kid could be a diamond in the rough.