Justin King is a smart kid. He graduated a year early at Penn State. He is also pretty darn fast, as you can see in the clip below of him chasing down a running back. He ran a 4.31 40-yard-dash at the combine, which caught a lot of attention. He was projected to be a late 3rd round pick, but his value has increased quite a bit as he continues to perform well under the eyes of NFL scouts.
He didn’t have a very good Junior season. He started the year off very well, not allowing any catches against good Wisconsin and Illinois teams. For those first six games, he gave up just 18 catches for 227 yards. In the second half, it was like he became a different player. He got rocked for 32 catches for 490 yards, and he gave up six touchdowns. His value plummeted.
He may also have some character issues. He was charged with a felony criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment in a 2007 fight. The charges were eventually dropped, and reports were that King was actually trying to keep the peace. I read a few more stories about this and it really seems King is a stand-up guy.
Many Penn State fans argued that King should have stayed to play his Senior season with Penn State because this draft class is loaded with cornerbacks. He truly got embarrassed in covering Indiana wide receiver James Hardy, which sort of still haunts King.
King is athletic and quick with good timing to deflect passes. Not an amazing tackler and has some work to do in wrapping up for the tackle. He also might need to work on his upper body strength.
Fast forward to his combine where he ran the 4.31. He’s 5 feet 11 inches tall and about 192 pounds. He was not able to complete the agility tests at the combine because his calves cramped up. That’s not good.
The Landry Hat’s official mark for Justin King is that he should remain a late second round or third round pick. There are just too many better cornerbacks available. If the Dallas Cowboys decide to pass on taking a cornerback in the first round, (Why I have no idea), then maybe King would fit as the first third round pick. But, I think we could scout a better player than King.
King runs down Mendenhall:
A short reel of King: