In 2016, King notched 58 tackles with seven passes broken up, three interceptions and one forced fumble. He also made some good kick and punt returns. King was one of the breakout players of 2015 as he displayed tremendous ball skills with eight interceptions and 13 passes broken up. He also had 72 tackles to go along with good returns on kicks and punts. In 2014, King totaled 64 tackles with five breakups and three interceptions. As a freshman, he had 69 tackles with eight passes batted.
King (5-10, 206) could have been an early round pick if he had declared for the 2016 NFL Draft. He is an instinctive corner with good ball skills, but running with speed receivers is a weakness for him in the NFL. Some teams might move him to safety, and that could be his best fit in the NFL.
2016 First Round Pick: Darron Lee, Ohio State (20)
2016 Offense Rankings: Total (26) Pass (27) Rush (12)
2016 Defense Rankings: Total (11) Pass (17) Rush (11)
2017 Projected Salary Cap Space: ($1,123,250)
(1) Clady ($10.5 M)
(2) Revis ($10 M)
(3) Mangold ($9.1 M)
(4) Richardson ($8.1 M)
(5) Marshall ($7.5 M)
(6) Decker ($7.25 M)
(7) Harris ($6.5 M)
(8) Gilchrist ($5 M)
(9) Giacomini ($4.3 M)
(10) Skrine ($3.5 M)
(11) Henderson ($2.8 M)
(12) Seferian-Jenkins ($1.14 M)
GM: Mike Maccagnan
Head Coach: Todd Bowles
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Morton
Defensive Coordinator: Kacy Rodgers
Offensive Scheme: Spread, Vertical Attacking
Defensive Scheme: 3-4, Multiple
Needs: (1) QB, (2) OL, (3) CB, (4) TE, (5) NT
LCB: (1) Skrine (2) Williams
SS: (1) Pryor (2) Gilchrist
FS: (1) Hooker (2) Miles
RCB: (1) Revis (2) Burris
NFL.com Grade: 6.7 ESPN Grade: 92
NFL Comparison: Reggie Nelson
Measurables: H: 6'2 W: 205 40: 4.47
Outstanding instincts help him work ahead of the play despite average speed. Always probing quarterback's eyes for clues. Quick to process and is decisive in action. Flows hard to where his instincts lead him. Has fluid movement of a basketball player in space. Leans and bends into his turns for greater body control. Always active and in constant on-field search for optimal positioning. Hyper-aware of incoming targets to his area. Just as comfortable from "robber" spot as high safety. Mirrors quarterback’s eyes to challenge the passing lane. Very rarely takes a false step. Has loose hips for sudden stop-start to cover in space. Great ball skills. Earned most of his seven interceptions in 2016. Can range over the top to challenge the deep ball. Chooses path to the football over path to the man. Strong hands at the catch point lead to takeaways. Can disguise coverage and hustle back into position. Will strike receivers with some force to jar throws loose.
He's the ultimate lurker. His instincts are always bringing him to the football and when he gets there he has the ball skills to take it away. His lack of game experience and issues with tackle consistency will likely show themselves early in his career, but his ability to flip the field is worthy of an aggressive projection. He has the talent to be a high-impact starter for years in the NFL.
The New York Jets are $5-million over the salary cap for 2017 after giving right guard Brian Winters a contract extension. I believe there are three Jets in particular that the New York Jets are strongly considering releasing in 2017. Those three players are wide receiver Brandon Marshall who saves $7.5-million, cornerback Buster Skryne who saves $3.5-million, and strong safety Marcus Gilchrist who saves the Jets $5-million.
That clears up $16-million in cap space giving them $11-million to spend on their rookie draft picks assuming they build through the draft. Their are other guys on the offensive line like Ryan Clady and Nick Mangold that could put the Jets up to $30-million in cap space if they released those guys too, but this offensive line class sucks and I think the Jets realize that so I can see why they would release these three players from a business standpoint hoping to clear enough cap space to keep their offensive line hoping a healthy offensive line will help Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg blossom.
This is all wishful thinking on the Jets part. If the New York Jets are thinking like me though they will release whoever they can to clear up cap space and then go with the best player on the board at 6.
Mark Sciubba gave the Jets Jamal Adams at 6 in his updated mock draft. I thought that was crazy a few weeks ago, but after carefully examining the Jets dire salary cap situation plus the fact that Gilchrist is coming off a season-ending injury with the Jets, I can completely see the Jets drafting a safety to pair with Calvin Pryor. Malik Hooker is the top player on the board in my mind at this pick so the Jets take Hooker here hoping to throw a monkey wrench on the Los Angeles Chargers draft plans at 7.
Hooker is an exceptional safety that played wide receiver and cornerback at New Castle High School before converting to safety at Ohio State. Hooker has the versatility to play both strong safety and free safety. Hooker can play man coverage, zone coverage, and press coverage just like LSU safety Jamal Adams.
A new addition to the draft board since declaring for the draft, Hooker is intriguing for the range and ball skills that he showed in his one year of action at Ohio State. As a redshirt sophomore, Hooker stepped right in with immediate splash plays on the back end of Ohio State’s defense, and his interception of Watson in the College Football Playoff semifinal was a prime example of the incredible range he brings to a defense. Few free safeties have shown those skills in recent years, making Hooker a rare commodity, perhaps so rare that teams will overlook his tackling woes that saw him miss a tackle every 6.5 attempts, good for 135th out of 242 qualifying safeties in the nation. Still, Hooker can be a game-changer in coverage, and he’ll get plenty of looks near the top of the draft.
First, sorry for the lengthy quote from DraftUtopia, but I felt their take on the Jets cap was very insightful.
I put the Jets trading up as to get past the Jags and Titans, who may draft back to back safeties. If the Jets release the above mentioned players the Jets will definitely need some DBs. I feel only Pryor will be retained as the Jets will also let go of Revis along will Gilchrist and Skrine. Hooker is a very talented S and has a nose for the ball, some latest injury news had me worried, but it seems it is a non-factor. I also think the Jets got an eyeful of Hooker last year while scouting Darron Lee.
I also do not think the Jets truly need to draft a QB this high. There are a lot of quality QBs in the later rounds. Also multiple sources(not just Walt) have sighted a interest in the Jets signing Mike Glennon. I also think that Geno and Petty still have untapped.
Long gone are the days of the Pittsburgh Steelers being known as a defensive-first team, and this changing of the guard in the Steel City has been evident for quite some time. While the Steelers still finished with the league's tenth best defense, the team still has plenty of holes to fill across the roster, primarily at the cornerback position. While 2016 first-rounder Artie Burns flashes potential, the Steelers have little to offer behind Burns with journeyman William Gay and Ross Cockrell. At 5’11 and just above 200 pounds, Iowa’s Desmond King is the top cornerback prospect available. Had the draft taken place in October or November, King would certainly be one of the first to have his name called, but an influx of talent at cornerback has muddied the waters a little bit. A recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's best defensive back a year ago, King is an absolute ball hawk and mismatch nightmare. Surprisingly physical for his size, King isn't afraid to match up with bigger and faster receivers, and always has a knack for finding the ball. Excellent in coverage and even against the run, pairing King with Burns should form a promising tandem. With their high octane offense still in place and their defense continuing to take shape, the Steelers will be one of the league's most dangerous teams in 2017.
My biggest draft crush hands down. This is my guy and a great pick here for Tampa Bay. He may be small (a shade under 5’10, 195lbs) but he sure as heck does not play that small. Baker is FEARLESS and loves to hit people. Sure he might get beat on some 50/50 balls, but his explosiveness can help alleviate that concern while also helping him in other areas of the game. One of my favorite plays of the year happened in the Pac-12 Championship game against Colorado. Colorado tried throwing a semi-wheel route out of the backfield right towards the first down marker and Baker not only read it beautifully, but made an unbelievable break on the ball and came down with it. Unfortunately, he was out of bounds by about an inch but the traits shown on that play show the type of player he can be. If he was maybe two inches taller he’d be talk about as a top 10 player, even with the size concerns he goes top 20 for me. The Bob Sanders/ Tyrann Mathieu comparisons are for real.
The Falcons could use a free safety to pair with Keanu Neal. Atlanta knows Maye well from scouting Neal, and they were an excellent tandem who could solidify the back end of the Falcons' defense. <br> <br>
Maye has 49 tackles, one interception and five passes broken up on the season. He totaled 82 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions in 2015. Maye was a solid free safety for Florida last year and generally a good deep center fielder, but he had an ugly performance against Alabama in the SEC Championship and didn't finish well against Michigan in the bowl game. <br> <br>
Sources say Maye (5-11, 203) has good free safety pass-coverage potential for the NFL and can do everything well, but also has some kinks to work out. He plays really well and then suffers a lapse and allows a reception downfield he shouldn't. If Maye can eliminate those hiccups, he could be in serious demand come draft day. <br> <br>
<u> <i> Pick change; previously Dawuane Smoot, DE </i> </u>
My first two picks for the Colts help their offense and more importantly Andrew Luck. I neglected the Colts defense with my first two picks but I have good reason. Most people think the Colts have a bad defense which is partially true. They mainly struggled last year against the pass due to numerous injuries. Guys like Clayton Geathers, Antonio Morrison, and TJ Green stepped up for them down the stretch and showed they are key building blocks for this defense. Their defensive line has some talent on it as well with Henry Anderson and Hassan Ridgeway. They really are missing a pass rusher, which they will surely obtain in free agency a la Melvin Ingram or via Trade sweepstakes Conor Barwin.
So... finally to get to the pick. Williams makes a lot of sense he is more a deep rangy lanky safety with good ball skills. Miles adams is a free agent and with TJ Green showing promise last year is probably a goner. I would like Williams to be the starter with Green being a special teams guy and backup at either safety spot if needed.
How in the world did this happen? Some teams considered Malik Hooker to be a top-three prospect in this class, as they made Ed Reed comparisons to him. I know that dumb teams making dumb picks caused him to drop, but seeing him fall to No. 15 is unreal. The Colts needed defensive help, and they're getting a lot of it with Hooker, who could be one of the top safeties in the NFL for a very long time.
Rd. 2, Pk. 4
Budda Baker, S
The Cardinals surrendered two fourths (one this year, one next year) and they swapped picks late to move up to this spot. Many thought the Cardinals would do that to trade up for a quarterback, but I don't think I would've liked that as much. Budda Baker makes more sense to replace Tony Jefferson. Baker is very talented, and I'm not sure he could've lasted to Arizona even though I had it that way in my mock draft. The thing is, there are a number of talented safeties available, so the Cardinals could've been more patient to fill this need.
Rd. 2, Pk. 7
Marcus Maye, S
Back-to-back safeties!? It makes sense, as the Jets had multiple needs at the position. The Jets just broke a lot of hearts, as many teams were hoping he'd fall to them in the second round. I guess it wasn't very realistic because there was some speculation Maye could go late first. He'll pair well with Jamal Adams to bolster New York's atrocious secondary.
Rd. 2, Pk. 10
Marcus Williams, S
Over Obi Melifonwu? I'm not so sure about that. Marcus Williams is very athletic, and he has that going for him. The Saints certainly love their athletes, so this makes sense from that perspective. However, some teams we spoke to were down on Williams because they considered him to be soft. Williams helps in the secondary and fills a need, but better picks could've been made.
Rd. 3, Pk. 27
John Johnson, S
RAMS R-A-M-E MILLEN Grade
You know, I was just thinking that we haven't had many bad picks. It feels like almost everything has ranged from A+ to "B." I don't know what happened, but Philadelphia has transformed most franchises into competent drafters. Unfortunately, that has not affected the Rams and Bears. Los Angeles selected a player I had in the 200s of my big board. He fills a need, but this is an egregious reach.
Rd. 3, Pk. 31
Delano Hill, FS
The Seahawks have a great front office, but they even miss sometimes. I think this is a whiff, as Delano Hill was a late-round prospect for me. Hill tested poorly at the combine and looked pretty bad in the drills. He's not impressive at all, but there's a chance he could be a special-teams stud for Seattle. That said, I don't think you take someone like that in the third round.
Rd. 4, Pk. 6
Rayshawn Jenkins, S
I had Rayshawn Jenkins going in the seventh round, so I'm not a big fan of this selection. I can see why the Chargers picked him, however. Jenkins is a very good athlete and has strong upside. He also fills a need, but happens to be a project.
Rd. 5, Pk. 7
Desmond King, FS/CB
I wrote earlier that I didn't think I'd love a pick more than Jake Butt in the fifth round, but that apparently isn't the case anymore. Desmond King is an absolute steal in the fifth round. Back in the fall, he was projected to be a fringe first-round pick! King was torched at the Senior Bowl, and he dropped in our mock as a result, but I still thought he'd be chosen in the third frame. The consensus is that he'll have to move to safety, but I don't see why he wouldn't perform well there. King could potentially start for the Chargers sooner rather than later.
Rd. 6, Pk. 2
Chuck Clark, FS
Chuck Clark was a borderline draftable prospect for me who never made an apperance in my mock draft. He's versatile in that he can play both cornerback, safety and special teams, but he doesn't have a true position. He'll just be a backup and special-teamer.
Rd. 6, Pk. 3
Michael Tyson, FS
The Seahawks are certainly taking a bite out of the safety position in this class, as this is the third such player they've selected. I had Mike Tyson going in the seventh round, so this is a tad early for him. I'm just not sure why the Seahawks need so many safeties, but maybe Seattle envisions him as a special-teams star.
Rd. 6, Pk. 24
Johnathan Ford, FS
Johnathan Ford is still relatively new to playing safety, as he's a former running back. However, he performed well at Auburn and then went on to post strong testing numbers. Ford was at his best on special teams in Auburn, so the Cardinals undoubtedly selected him so that he could help them in that regard. I had him off the board 26 selections earlier than this, so there's some value.