Photo of Desmond King
6.2 ?
  • 14 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 34.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 117.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.67 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.18 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.57 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 5'10" Height
  • 31 1/8" Arm Length
  • 201LBS. Weight
  • 9 5/8" Hands


King had every opportunity to leave for the NFL after his junior year, but decided to stay with his team and earn his degree. The 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner and unanimous Consensus All-American ranked second in the FBS with eight interceptions. He was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well, starting 14 times, making 72 tackles and breaking up 13 passes. King was a first-team All-Big Ten pick again as a senior, although he "only" had three interceptions and seven pass breakups as teams avoided him. King's promise was obvious in his freshman year, when he grabbed a starting spot right off the bat (69 tackles, three TFL, eight PBU). He started gaining notoriety by league media with an honorable mention all-conference sophomore season (started all 13 games, 72 tackles, three INT, five PBU). King also returned kicks (26.0 per) and punts (11.7 per) the past two years.



Four-year starter and ultimate iron man. Played in more than 94 percent of Iowa's defensive snaps over his four years and took 46 percent of the special teams snaps in 2016. Football instincts are off the charts. Focused quarterback reader who overlaps into other coverage areas to go make a play on the ball. Pattern reader with anticipation to keep him ahead of the route. Creates unique angles to throws, allowing for top-ball production. Obsessed with getting the ball; nabbed 14 interceptions in college and 29 in high school. Has ball-tracking, hands and high-point talent of a wideout. Stocky frame with physical play demeanor. Good press strength. Rough on slot receivers who can't make a quick get-away off the line. Viable option as both punt and kick returner. Not overly physical as tackler but tends to finish.


Lacks long speed and height associated with bump and run cornerbacks. Struggles to carry receivers down the field. Can be mismatched by legitimate speed merchants. Grinder who lacks mirror-and-match fluidity and foot quickness. Relies on hands usage and grabbing over footwork to transition and match on intermediate routes. In press, can get behind when facing off against slick releases from slot weapons. Lacks recovery speed to consistently close open throwing windows on NFL level. Penalized 11 times, including five personal fouls, over final two seasons. Needs to show more explosion into tackles and improve wrap-up technique.

Sources Tell Us

"You worry about the physical limitations a little bit because teams will find your weaknesses and exploit them. But he's just so steady and productive and tough. He loves football and I think he'll just find a way." -- Midwest scout for AFC team

NFL Comparison

Jairus Byrd

Bottom Line

Lack of size and speed combined with his ball skills, instincts, and competitiveness all point to a transition to safety. While he can improve as a tackler, he's got the toughness and mentality to take on run-support duties. Can cover in man when asked and has the ball-tracking skills and anticipation that should allow him to thrive in two-deep and single-high situations. A likely second-day (Rounds 2-3) selection and could be targeted as a zone corner or a safety with early starting potential.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.