Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Mitch King
Mitch King (DE)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 280
College: Iowa
Conference: Big Ten
Hometown: Burlington, IA
High School: Burlington
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  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Much like his Hawkeye predecessors, Aaron Kampman (Green Bay) and Jonathan Babineaux (Atlanta), King is a classic overachiever in an undersized body for the position he plays. Despite giving up considerable bulk to his opponents, a poll taken during the 2008 Big Ten Conference Football Kickoff Convention saw King walk away as the clear winner when opposing offensive linemen were asked who the toughest competitor that they have ever faced was.


Having joined the Iowa program as a 230-pound linebacker, King is a classic example of the fine weight room/training program that the Hawkeyes receive. Whether playing nose guard or right defensive tackle, his high motor has made him a force to be reckoned with. He became the 60th player in school history to register more than 200 tackles in a career. He finished his career with 55 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, the most by an Iowa player since Jared DeVries set the school all-time record with 78.0 from 1995-98.


The team's unquestioned field general, he has always been a leader among men, serving on the team's Leadership Council since his sophomore year (one of just four second-year players to serve). His value to the team can't be measured in personal statistics, and the league's coaches recognized that, naming him the 2008 Big Ten Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year.


To get a true gauge of King's value to the team, one only has to look at the defense's improvement over the past three seasons. As a sophomore, the Hawkeyes ranked 57th in the nation in rush defense (133.62 ypg) and 68th in total defense (343.77 ypg). As a junior, he helped Iowa place 24th nationally vs. the run (122.0 ypg) and rank 36th by giving up an average of 351.17 total yards per game. In his final season, the squad finished ninth in the NCAA in rush defense (94.0 ypg), 12th in total defense (291.31 ypg) and fifth in scoring defense (13.0 ppg).


At Burlington High School, King earned Class 4A first-team All-State honors from the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association as a senior. He was a member of Super Prep's All-Region team and was a first-team All-Conference choice as both a linebacker and running back in 2003.


King lettered just twice in football, picking up second-team All-Conference defensive honors as a linebacker during his junior campaign. He rushed for 850 yards as a senior and 550 more during his junior season. He also earned a pair of letters in swimming and baseball.


King enrolled at Iowa in 2004, spending the season on the scout team as a linebacker. With Babineaux having graduated, King, now weighing 247 pounds, started eight games at right tackle in 2005, earning Freshman All-American and All-Big Ten Conference honors. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week vs. Wisconsin and made a career-high 60 tackles (36 solos) with two sacks, as he ranked 11th in the league with 10.5 stops for losses. He also caused three fumbles.


In 2006, King started 11 games, sitting out the Michigan clash due to a hamstring pull. He collected 56 tackles (35 solos) along with seven sacks, improving to eighth in the Big Ten with 14 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He continued to man the right tackle spot in 2007, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors after posting 58 tackles (25 solos) with 4.5 sacks and finished sixth in the conference with 14.5 stops for losses.


King received All-American, All-Big Ten Conference first-team and league Defensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2008. He was credited with four sacks among his 54 tackles (27 solos), as he also caused two fumbles. He also paced the Buckeyes with a career-high 15.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.


High School

Attended Burlington (La.) High School, playing football for head coach Ron Glasgow... Earned Class 4A first-team All-State honors from the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association as a senior...Member of Super Prep's All-Region team and was a first-team All-Conference choice as a linebacker and running back in 2003...Lettered just twice in football, picking up second-team All-Conference defensive honors as a linebacker during his junior campaign...Rushed for 850 yards as a senior and 550 more during his junior season...Also earned a pair of letters in swimming and baseball.


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Analysis

Positives: Short, squatty defender with a low center of gravity, making it tough to move him off the line of scrimmage. Good strength, especially in his lower body, to anchor. Good initial quickness off the snap. Good hand placement and quickness. Forceful hands to disengage from the blocker. Good short-area vertical and lateral quickness to slip blocks and make plays in the hole. Instinctive defender who sees the action and puts himself in position to make plays. High-effort, high-intensity player who makes those around him better. Four-year starter.


Negatives: Bit of a "tweener." Lacks the height, flexibility and speed off the edge teams prefer outside at defensive end and the bulk inside for defensive tackle. Needs to be protected by a bigger defensive tackle next to him to handle playing inside in the NFL.


Compares To: JONATHAN BABINEAUX, Atlanta -- Iowa has been producing classic overachievers that the NFL had doubts on like Babineaux and Aaron Kampman. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz calls King a better player than those two. Based on how well Kampman and Babineaux have played in the pros, is there any doubt that King could be the next one to fool all the scouting experts?


Injury Report

2006: Did not see action vs. Indiana (10/14) and Michigan (10/21) due to a hamstring pull.


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