In a Perfect World, Kevin King Will...
The Packers’ top draft pick this season, cornerback Kevin King, enters the 2017 season with perhaps the most pressure to perform immediately since Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in 2014.
King is an off-the-charts athlete, who brings skills to the Packers defense they have not had under general manager Ted Thompson.
It’s wishful thinking to imagine every player, every rookie and every coach on the roster will be the greatest of all time. However, on the edge of Kevin King’s professional career, let’s examine what we believe he could become “in a perfect world.”
Jon says: Kevin King will follow in Nick Collins’ footsteps
Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value (AV) stat isn’t perfect, but it gives us a decent ballpark for comparing players. The higher the AV, the better the player performed.
From 1996 to 2016, 246 defensive backs were taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. Of those, Patrick Peterson had the highest AV for his rookie season, posting a ridiculous score of 20. He is by far the outlier. Of the entire group, only 90 have scored a five or better.
Three of those 90 played for the Packers. Here’s the full rundown of AV scores for Packers defensive backs drafted in that window.
- Nick Collins - 7
- Damarious Randall - 5
- Ahmad Carroll - 5
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - 4
- Quinten Rollins - 3
- Anutan Edwards - 0
- Pat Lee - 0
- Fred Vinson - 0
In a perfect world, Kevin King’s rookie season would probably resemble that of Nick Collins. Though they played different positions, they were both extremely athletic additions to the secondary.
As a rookie, Collins started 16 games, recording one interception and eight passes defensed. If King could pull off a similar line, I think his rookie season would be a success. Even in a perfect world, asking for much more than that would be a little bit much.
Gary says: Kevin King will be able to cover top-flight wide receivers
In the short-term, the Packers need a cornerback who can hang with the athletic, mountainous wide receivers and tight ends across the league. In the NFC Championship Game, the Falcons’ Julio Jones roasted whomever the Packers tried to line up against him.
King’s athletic profile fits the mold of a corner who can stand up against those elite wide receivers. In a perfect world, he’d be able to do that from the first snap of the season because of the Packers’ great need at defensive back.
Ironically, King will be counted on to slide into the role previously held by another hyper athletic cornerback, Sam Shields. Shields started six games in the 2010 regular season
The Packers’ Super Bowl XLV run wouldn’t have happened without Shields, either. He intercepted two passes in the NFC Championship Game – only the 11th rookie in NFL history to do so in a playoff game – and filled in during the Super Bowl after Charles Woodson broke his collarbone.
King won’t have the luxury Shields had to come along slowly, but in a perfect world he will be performing at the same level as Shields shortly.