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Preseason Scouting Notes: D’Eriq King, QB, Miami

Redshirt Senior | 5’11” 202 lbs | Manvel, TX | August 24, 1997

 

A very impressive athlete who can make plays with his feet and is good at giving his receivers opportunities to get yards after the catch

 

Overview:

D’Eriq King went to Houston as a 3-star recruit and was a three-year starter, but decided to transfer to Miami after playing in four games and redshirting last season. He was productive for the Cougars, passing for nearly 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns while adding about 1,400 yards and 28 scores on the ground. Houston’s offense was a great fit for King’s skill set as it featured a lot of read options, RPOs, predetermined throws, and half-side reads with an emphasis on short to intermediate passes. The Manvel native has very good athleticism to make plays using his legs and is good at leading receivers in the short to intermediate areas of the field, giving them opportunities to get yards after the catch.

Strengths:

– Consistent communicator pre-snap, helping to set the protection and adjust the play call
– Constantly makes the correct reads on RPOs and read options
– Doesn’t force the ball into tight coverage. Plays it safe and is not turnover prone
– Very good quickness, agility, and acceleration in the pocket to avoid sacks and he keeps his eyes downfield when scrambling
– Has good arm strength to fit the ball into tight windows and to throw deep
– Gives receivers opportunities to get YAC when throwing in the short to intermediate areas, placing the ball in front of moving targets and on the facemask or upfield shoulder to stationary targets
– As a runner, he has good vision to read blocks and find rushing lanes, very good acceleration, quickness, COD, and agility to pick up yards quickly and make defenders miss in the open field
– Dangerous red zone threat with his ability to make plays running the ball and accuracy in the short to intermediate areas

Areas to improve:

– Lacks the ideal NFL QB size and body composition. Height is listed anywhere from 5’9″ to 5’11” and he’s had multiple knee injuries
– Takes a while to come off his first read and rarely works past his second
– Doesn’t look off or manipulate safeties when throwing over the middle
– Merely adequate at reading zone coverage, often missing open receivers and opportunities for hole shots
– Will leave the pocket when he’s not facing pressure and is quick to bail when pressure comes
– Doesn’t throw with anticipation on 90-degree or more routes
– On deep passes, frequently misses long and doesn’t place the ball on the opposite side of the DB when he is on target
– Inaccurate when throwing on the run, missing high, low, to the left and the right
– Not very clutch. Doesn’t make a lot of big plays on 3rd downs and only has one 4th quarter comeback

Injury concerns:

– 2018: Torn Right Meniscus (Missed 2 games)

– 2017: Torn Meniscus (Missed 2 games)

Projection:

There’s a lot to like about King’s game, especially athletically, but his ability to read defenses is not up to NFL standards, which will significantly hurt his draft stock. Right now, he projects anywhere from a sixth-round pick to a priority free agent. Teams could fall in love with King’s unique athletic ability and if he’s willing to play multiple positions, he could carve out a Taysom Hill-esque role in the league.

What to watch in 2020:

Can King improve at reading zone coverages and start to work off his first read more frequently? These are two of the biggest hurdles the fifth-year senior will have overcome if he is going to be taken seriously as a quarterback during the pre-draft process. A new offensive system could help, but the unprecedented offseason creates another obstacle. It will be interesting to see how Miami uses King throughout the year.

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