Patriots Showing Interest in Explosive QB-WR

Getty D'Eriq King

The New England Patriots appear to be on the hunt for a quarterback. Mac Jones is clearly the starter and Brian Hoyer seems entrenched as his backup and mentor. However, Jarrett Stidham’s spot on the roster doesn’t appear to be as solid.

The Patriots sent a scout to check out Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe last week, and Bill Belichick also had assistant Joe Judge send former Miami Hurricanes QB-WR D’Eriq King through a private workout, per Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson.

King is an intriguing prospect because he has played both QB and WR in college, which might have some in Patriots Nation thinking about Julian Edelman.

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“Most NFL teams are working out King as a quarterback while also intrigued by his versatility as a slot receiver and as a red-zone threat,” Wilson wrote.

Here is a highlight reel of King in action with the Hurricanes.

D'Eriq King || Miami Hurricanes Quarterback || 2021 HighlightsD'Eriq King 2021 season highlights. 767 Passing Yards, 96 Rushing Yards, 3 Touchdowns- season cut short due to injury. We do not own the copyrights to this footage, it belongs to ESPN, ACC, and their affiliates. All things shown in the video also do not have any intention of copying, stealing, or any sort of…2021-11-19T02:30:13Z

Because of King’s versatility and agility as a runner, you might even wonder if he has a future as a punt returner. In any case, he’d represent the addition of some much-needed explosiveness to the Patriots’ attack.

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Belichick and Co. haven’t shied away from trick plays. We’ve seen Jakobi Meyers throwing passes the last two seasons. A player like King would add even more accomplished passing as a weapon, in addition to having the ability as a capable receiver. Over a college career that spanned six seasons, thanks to serious injuries and extended eligibility, King amassed 2,575 yards and 35 TDs on 484 total touches as a runner or receiver.

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As a quarterback, King threw for 8,378 yards 76 TDs, 19 interceptions and he completed 63.1% of his passes between Houston and Miami. You’d be hard-pressed to find a prospect with as much experience in two different roles.

While it may take some time to fully incorporate King to the point where he could be the Patriots’ version of New Orleans Saints Swiss-Army knife Taysom Hill, but because of his experience, the former might be ready to contribute sooner rather than later.

King’s Age, Size and Lack of a Position Could Be a Problem

Injuries have been a major issue for King throughout his college football career. He tore his meniscus in his final year with Houston, which led to a transfer to Miami. In 2021, King suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery.

Any team planning to give King a shot will have to consider the wear and tear that he’s already shown after suffering two serious injuries.

At 5’9″, King is smallish for a wide receiver, but he would be right downright diminutive as a quarterback. The Patriots usually like bigger signal-callers, but who’s to say they wouldn’t consider going a different direction–especially for a third-string developmental player.

There’s also the age drawback.

King will be 25 before the 2022 season begins. We’ve seen a few quarterbacks start their careers in their mid-20s, but to say that is less than ideal would be an understatement.

When you factor in the injury concerns, King’s age, size and the lack of a defined position, it seems as though King will be an undrafted free agent. That said, it is easy to see him being a hot commodity on that market.

The private workout the Patriots set up with him might be the first step in gauging whether or not there could be a fit for King on the roster.

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