Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines the pocket play and coverage-reading promise of Miami Hurricanes Quarterback and NFL Draft Prospect D’Eriq King.
I had a strong first impression of D’Eriq King after studying a few of his games when he lit up defenses as a Houston Cougar. King’s arm talent, decision-making, dynamic mobility, and red-zone work all impressed me to the point that I was a little dumbstruck by the lack of buzz about him.
That feeling didn’t last long when considering the history of the NFL (despite recent changes) and its approach to quarterbacks.
A short quarterback, who isn’t as tall as his 5’11” listing, some circles of NFL and independent scouting believe he’s better off as a wide receiver like his former teammate Greg Ward–now a successful contributor for the Philadelphia Eagles.
As we know, this could be King’s career trajectory as a professional. However, King is superior to Ward as a quarterback prospect, and in this era of the league that’s more open to shorter and lighter quarterbacks who can win in multiple ways, there’s a greater likelihood that King gets his due as a passer.
This week, my colleague Mark Schofield believes King has the goods to potentially earn a second-day selection in the NFL Draft as a quarterback. Although I have seen more flaws in King’s game with additional viewings of the quarterback, I still agree with Mark that King is a compelling prospect worth additional study and consideration as a viable NFL product under center.
Two areas of note that turn me on to King’s game are his pocket toughness and ability to manipulate linebackers. Moving and holding underneath coverage is a skill we don’t often see at the college level–especially when the target is working behind that coverage.
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There are some minor mechanical issues with his feet that impact his throwing motion on specific throws that should be cleaned up but beyond that, he’s a promising passer who shouldn’t be overlooked, underestimated, or written off as a developmental project at another position.
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