IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former Iowa CB Desmond King is going to the NFL. The Los Angeles Chargers selected King in the fifth round at No. 151.
The 5-foot-10, 201-pound King is one of the most accomplished defensive backs in Iowa history. Now, he’s out to make his mark in the NFL.
Who is Desmond King? 5 things to know
He is versatile, capable of playing nearly any position in the secondary
The NFL is placing a higher premium on defensive backs capable of multitasking. King fits the bill. He was a shutdown corner in college — teams rarely threw in his direction last season — yet possesses the skill set and athleticism to play as a nickel back or safety, as well.
King is an all-around talent, Pro Football Focus calling him “one of the nation’s best run defenders among defensive backs.” His future NFL position depends on which team drafts him, and what it wants to do with him. But don’t be surprised if he slides between multiple roles as a professional.
Iowa CB Desmond King Career Highlights ᴴᴰ..love this guy COWBOY NATION!! https://t.co/40ZXlbQRmr
— Tom Docherty (@docman2626) April 16, 2017
He can return punts and kickoffs, too
King’s versatility extends beyond the secondary. He was a multi-year return man at Iowa, finishing 12th in the nation in 2016 with a 27.8-yard average on kickoff returns (including a long of 77 yards). He was 18th nationally in punt returns at 10.2 yards per return.
His biggest impact as a rookie may come on the return game.
His college pedigree is top-notch
King is a two-time All-American, Jim Thorpe Award winner, and Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist.
The latter two accolades came in 2015, in which he recorded 72 tackles, 13 pass breakups and 8 interceptions. The Thorpe Award goes to the nation’s top defensive back.
Teams targeted him less as a senior, but he still made 58 tackles, 7 pass breakups and 3 interceptions.
He answered questions about his 40-yard dash at Iowa’s pro day
Drew Rosenhaus cruised through the lobby and said client Desmond King ran a 4.51 40. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) March 27, 2017
NFL teams like Iowa players
Coach Kirk Ferentz has had 53 players drafted in the NFL since 2003. Iowa is known as offensive line factory, but NFL teams continually pull talent from Iowa at other positions, including cornerback.