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Cornerback preview: Desmond King

King is a certified ballhawk who would bring coverage versatility

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Desmond King's pedigree is evident. Last year's Jim Thorpe winner has dominated a run-first conference in the BIG 10 thanks to his instincts and his ball skills. At 5'11 and 200 lbs, he exhibits the prototypical size but his arms are on the short side.

What he does best

Desmond King is at his best when he is used in coverages that allow him to maintain his eyes on the quarterback while blocking off the sidelines with an inside shade. In Cover 2 sink and in Cover 3, King can do both go those things with regularity. He is adept at capitalizing on throws that are not perfectly timed. His performance against Tyler Boyd highlights his traits.

Where he struggles

King's press coverage technique is not consistent. He lunges at the line and can be had while flat-footed off the line. He does not have the deep speed to recover, but if he fixes his technique, he will be able to mix in press coverage snaps in his more zone heavy game.

Fit with the Ravens

King's ball skills will tantalize the Ravens brass if they find themselves picking in the second half of the first round. While he lacks the total coverage versatility of the elite cornerback prospects, his playmaking ability will enable him to find a spot in a Ravens defense that is multiple in their zone looks.

Where to watch him

The BIG-10 does not pass much, the matchup with Michigan on November 12th will probably produce the most passing attempts against King. He has already won the Thorpe award. King’s past games give the viewer a good idea of his skill-set.