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Green and Bold: Kevin King's Ascent Begins

It might take three months or three years, but rookie cornerback Kevin King could eventually become a starting outside corner for the Packers.

However, the team has yet to really get him on the field and see what he can do. 

Until now. 

King, the Packers' first draft selection at No. 33 overall, was not able to take part in OTAs because classes at the University of Washington were still in session, and the NFL does not allow players to participate in team practices during that time. 

The Packers knew King was special based on the game tape that featured his 164 tackles, six interceptions and 22 passes defensed at Washington as well as his combine performance, in which he was a top performer in the vertical jump (39.5 inches), 3-cone drill (6.56 seconds), 20-yard shuttle (3.89 seconds) and 60-yard shuttle (11.14 seconds). 

However, it's one thing to be able to man the perimeter in college and leap high in a workout; it's quite another to succeed at the NFL level, especially at the cornerback position and especially in Dom Capers' defense, which doesn't make life easy for young corners. (Just ask Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins.)

So now that King is finally free to participate in some team workouts during the Packers' minicamp, Capers, head coach Mike McCarthy and cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt and the rest of the coaching staff will get a chance to see just how quickly he can adjust to the demands of the pros. 

On Tuesday, King did individual drills and some work within his position group but didn't take part in the 11-on-11 portion of practice.

 

For his part,  Whitt is pleased to finally have King in the building, as opposed to on FaceTime 2,000 miles away.

"There's nothing like being here and being in the room and working the technique," Whitt said during OTAs, per ESPN's Rob Demovsky.

"There's only so much you can do through FaceTime on the board and trying to really explain it to him in a proper fashion."

McCarthy has excused the veterans (any player with more than five years of accrued experience) from the minicamp, which means young players like King will get even more essential time to hone their skills and, potentially, make their case for a starting job. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

Just happy he's at minicamp. Hopefully his "Ascent" to the top doesn't take much longer than say August 26th, the day of the Packers 3rd exhibition game against the Broncos. Love to see the kids talent be so obvious that he has the starting CB gig locked up sometime around then.

Tundraboy's picture

That would be a dream come true.

RCPackerFan's picture

I really don't get the quarter system rules that the schools don't allow these kids to be able to go work at their jobs. Last year Kenny Clark reportedly had to be on campus yet didn't have to go to class. What sense does that make? if he doesn't have to go to class then why can't he go to his job?

In the end like Clark last year, it really shouldn't affect King to much. But other players such as late round picks or UDFA's who have to miss OTA's due to that rule are really affected by it.

I think its time these rules be changed.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It's the NFLs rule not the schools. The school isn't stopping him from taking a semester away or graduating early.

RCPackerFan's picture

My understanding of the rule its the schools that don't allow it.

If its the NFL that doesn't allow it, they need to be the ones that change the rules.

Regardless of whoever's rules it is, its time they change it.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

How could the school stop him from going to a job? I worked at universities as a professor for a decade. I could give a student an bad grade for failing to preform. Neither I or the school could not stop them from going to work, or taking a semster off.

marpag1's picture

In a way, you are BOTH correct. It's definitely the NFL's rule, but it was the schools who more or less forced the NFL to make the rule.

Prior to 1990, NFL teams simply told their draft picks, "Look, if you want a job, you need to drop out of school and attend our offseason program." The schools didn't like that, and in retaliation they banned all professional scouts from their campuses. The compromise between the schools and the NFL that resulted is called the "May 16 Rule," and that's what we're talking about now.

The rule is designed to prevent NFL teams from pressuring draft picks to leave school. In order to prevent students from dropping out "voluntarily," the rule also mandates that the draft pick cannot participate until after exams EVEN IF HE IS NO LONGER ENROLLED. In other words, "Yeah, you can drop out if you want, but you still can't practice until the exams are finished."

The big glitch in the rule is that draft picks drop out anyway, even if just to prepare for the combine. That's why Kenny Clark couldn't practice, even though he wasn't taking any classes.

Here's the text of the rule:

(i) Players who attend schools with final examinations that conclude prior to May 16* may fully participate in any activities (i.e., tryout, physical examination, three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp, or RFDP) at a club’s facility beginning May 15.

(ii) Players who attend schools with final examinations that conclude after May 16* may not participate in any activities other than the three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp until after the player’s final day of examinations.

(iii) Players who have withdrawn from school may not attend any club activity (other than the three-day post-Draft Rookie minicamp) or be visited at his campus or residence, or any other location, by any club personnel or club representative if final examinations have yet to conclude at the school. This includes drafted players, any undrafted players that have signed as free agents, and any undrafted players that have not signed.

RCPackerFan's picture

Thanks Marpag.

That is what my understanding of the rule was for.

RCPackerFan's picture

jeremy -

I understand they have the option to quit at semesters end in the first semester. But should the student have to quit the semester early just to be able to attend practices that they may or may not be apart of?
Also, how does that affect players scholarships that they may have. If they quit early, do they have to give up the remainder of their scholarship?

Also I'm not just talking about the players that are considered high round picks. This also affects players that are late round picks or UDFA's. The guys who are longer shots to making the NFL.
A lot of these guys have to go out in the real world and get normal jobs after college football is over. Which means they need that degree.

This rule just needs to be changed.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It should be up to the student, IMO. Which means to me the NFL could change thier rule to ban pressuring students. If it was me I'd take away the next years draft pick equivalent to the players selection or the next lowest available pick.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

dup.

RCPackerFan's picture

I am looking forward to seeing what King brings as a CB to GB. GB hasn't really had a CB like King before. He is so tall and long that going up against bigger WR's shouldn't be an issue.

I think they will take the approach with King that they took with Clark last year. Have him slowly work his way onto the field. Letting him play when he is ready to play vs forcing him to play if he isn't ready to. I can see him starting out in certain sub packages to start the year, and play more as he develops.

The true goal is to have him playing really well at the end of the year. Letting him ascend during the year vs decline. Taking a similar approach that they did with Clark I think will ultimately be the best way to go.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I predict he'll be our #1 CB this year, and that many teams will be upset they passed on him.

That said, growing pains and blown coverages are guaranteed when you miss so much time due to archaic rules.

stockholder's picture

I don't believe King will be the #1 CB this year. I believe House and Randall will be our starters. King ,Gunter and Rollins will be backing up. And thats all we should expect early. By mid season, I feel they'll be moving the Cbs around. You don't let a veteran QB pick on a rookie. I'm still wanting to see if R & R can make that player jump. (At least not to be called busts. ) And is House CAN DO?

Matt Gonzales's picture

Even if he hadn't missed time I'd fully endorse letting him develop through the year in lower pressure and more favorable situations. I'd love to see him on the field 75%+ of the time by the end of the year if he's ready.

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