Rd1, Pick ?: Desmond King, CB Iowa,
From a yardage standpoint Miami’s defense this season is the worst in team history. The 10-6 playoff-bound Dolphins have given up more yards than the 2007 1-15 Dolphins.
Let that sink in.
Obviously the team as a whole has made up for the poor defensive play through a variety of different ways. Regardless they can’t come back next season and get burned like they did this year.
The cornerback spot in Miami is interesting, and it’s changed almost every week. Byron Maxwell started the season playing as bad as anyone but has since been consistent since the 1-4 start, Xavien Howard – 2016 2nd round draft selection – has been inconsistent when on the field, and Tony Lippett has been a pleasant surprise in his 2nd season in South Florida. You can throw in Bobby McCain too but his primary position is playing in the slot.
Desmond King is a versatile corner that can play on the outside, in the slot or at safety in the NFL. Many believe his biggest flaw is his speed, running an average of a 4.53 40 time. That’s fine , though; Richard Sherman ran a 4.56 coming out of Stanford.
The positives outweigh the negatives. King has played in 53 games for the Iowa Hawkeyes, a university record, showing his durability. His eight interceptions in 2015 led to Jim Thorpe Award honors and he’s regarded as the best run stuffing corner in the country. And although Miami won’t/shouldn’t need it, he’s a talented punt and kick returner too.
At the end of last season most experts thought King had top 15 potential had he declared after the Rose Bowl. Instead he came back to the Iowa to finish his degree and play one last season with his teammates.
If Miami keeps Maxwell’s big contract then cornerback is very unlikely in round one. It’d be best, however, to ship Maxwell out and keep developing corners the way head coach Adam Gase and his coaching staff wants him to.
Note: King intercepted Austin Appleby in the 1st quarter of the Outback Bowl today.