Packers 2017 Recap: CB Kevin King

When the Packers drafted Washington cornerback Kevin King in the second round this past offseason, he was penciled in by many as the team’s next great shutdown defender.

Praise rolled in from across the internet for who would be the first pick of Ted Thompson’s final NFL Draft as Packers general manager.


It’s easy to see why King was highly regarded as a draft prospect. At 6-3, he’s one of less than 20 defensive backs to play at a height of 6-3 or taller. He’s an off-the-charts athlete, too. King ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and had the combine’s second-best vertical jump of 39.5 inches.

A shoulder injury kept King from showcasing his talents as a rookie, but the future remains bright for the Packers corner.

2017 Stats

  • Appeared in 9 games, started 5 games
  • 27 total tackles, 5 passes defensed

Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Not Met

What we said after the draft

How Will CB Kevin King Help the Packers? - With King hopefully locking up with a team’s biggest, best receiver, the Packers should be able to move their other corners around the defense, allowing those players to play to their strengths. More importantly, King will hopefully take some of the pressure about Randall, Rollins, and Gunter, allowing them to fill more complementary roles.

Analysis: Injuries kept King from reaching his potential

It wasn’t enough that an archaic rule kept the rookie cornerback from practicing with the Packers during rookie orientation. When Kevin King finally was permitted to begin working with the team, a banged up shoulder doomed his rookie season.

This particular injury is related to a torn labrum he suffered as a freshman at Washington, and he underwent surgery to repair the shoulder in December.

“You haven’t really seen the real Kevin King yet,” his position coach, Joe Whitt Jr., said. “He’s a tough kid. He never complained. He has a chance to be a really, really good player.”

In his final game against the Steelers late in the season, King was in position to make a tackle six times where pain would have shot throughout his body after contact. He stood tough.

"I can't give [King] enough credit for fighting through what he has," McCarthy said. "There's week where he has to prove it each week in practice, and when he does that he's afforded the opportunity to play. I think that's a real credit for him to battle back each and every time."

The second-round draft pick failed to meet some pretty high expectations, but his fate as a pro cornerback hasn’t been sealed.

King played 382 snaps as a rookie, and played better when he could press the receivers instead of playing in zone coverage. It’s impressive that King could even press receivers as he wasn’t able to use his left arm as a result of his shoulder injury.