D’Eriq King is an intriguing NFL draft prospect given how the game is changing with more value being placed on quarterbacks that can hurt opposing defenses with their legs. The quarterback became a Miami graduate transfer over the offseason after spending his first four seasons at Houston, but he opted to sit out the majority of the 2019 season to preserve his final year of eligibility.
King is listed at 5’11” and 202 pounds which is a bit undersized for an NFL quarterback. Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller noted King is a similar size to Kyler Murray.
“D’Eriq King looks like Kyler Murray from a body type perspective,” Miller noted on Twitter.
King Avoided Having a ‘Turnover Worthy Throw’ in His First 2 Games at Miami
King’s athleticism is not in question, but the Miami quarterback needs to prove he can consistently hurt opponents through the air. King is off to a great start completing 67 percent of his passes through three games. Through the first two games, King joined Trevor Lawrence as the only two quarterbacks not to make a “turnover worthy throw,” per Pro Football Focus. As The Draft Network points out in their profile, King has an opportunity to help his NFL stock by playing against ACC competition this season.
“Terrific athlete with exceptional quickness,” The Draft Network noted. “Feet are springy and he’s dynamic as a runner. Makes defensive ends look silly trying to contain him and he’s slippery in space. Destroys pursuit angles and has good vision in the open field. …Good thrower on the move and he is dangerous when he extends plays and turns things into backyard football. Has a big opportunity to showcase his ability in 2020 against ACC competition.”
The Miami QB Needs to Improve Working Through His Progressions
The profile goes on to identify working through his progressions as an area that King needs to improve. NFL teams will be watching closely to see how King performs against better competition.
“Feasted on schemed and manufactured throws at Houston so there is a considerable curve moving forward to execute the passing concepts he’ll be introduced to in the NFL,” The Draft Network added. “Has to develop the ability to work progressions, use his eyes to move defenders and become a more efficient passer.”
Kirk Herbstreit on King as an NFL Prospect: ‘We’re Seeing a Trend More & More in That Direction’
ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit does not believe King’s size will hurt his draft stock with the way the NFL has changed. Herbstreit told the Miami Herald that “we’re seeing a trend more and more” towards players like King who are able to make plays despite being undersized.
“When I turn on Sunday [NFL] football, I really think I continue to see the trend going more and more and more toward the college model of quarterbacks that have the ability to make a lot of throws but also have the ability to put pressure on defenses by being able to escape and keep a play alive and run some form of an air-raid type of offense,” Herbstreit noted. “We’re seeing a trend more and more in that direction and less and less of ‘Oh, he’s 6-5’ [or] ‘Oh, he’s 6-2’ [or] ‘This guy is 6-1.’ I guess old-school people still look at it that way, but if you watch the NFL it’s becoming less and less a thing. Like if he’s making plays at 5-11 and he’s dealing with the offensive linemen he deals with at Miami and runs the system he’s running, I just don’t think it’s as big of a thing and a problem in 2020 as it was in 1995.”
Mel Kiper Jr. Calls King One of the ‘Most Intriguing’ NFL Draft Prospects
The Draft Network projects Kings to be a sixth or seventh-round pick, but there is still plenty of time for this to change. Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow and Baker Mayfield are all quarterbacks that were likely late-round selections heading into their senior season. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. labeled King as his “most intriguing” prospect but admits that his resume is incomplete.
“I don’t quite know what to make of King’s NFL prospects yet, but it’s hard not to be impressed by his production,” Kiper noted. “The Houston transfer doesn’t throw interceptions (zero picks to six TD passes so far), and he has put Miami on the national stage this weekend in its top-10 matchup against Clemson. …The biggest knock on King is his height — 5-10 — but the NFL is changing, and we’ve seen shorter quarterbacks such as Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray have success. King isn’t on that level talent-wise, but he is going to get drafted.”