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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kalen King (CB – Penn State)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kalen King (CB – Penn State)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Penn State cornerback Kalen King.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kalen King

Kalen King (CB – Penn State)

5’11” – 190 lbs.

Background:

Four-star recruit who started the team’s bowl game in 2021 but otherwise rotated into the defense that year, allowing just six of 20 targets to be completed (152 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions.) Started opposite Joey Porter Jr. the following year and had his best season: 27/59 passing against (45.8%) for 343 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions, and nine breakups. Declared before the team’s bowl game after 2023 in which he allowed 25/41 passing (61%) for 290 yards, with one breakup (no touchdowns or interceptions.)

Positives:

Two-year starter who has allowed just one touchdown over the past two years. Lines up in a lot of press-man looks, playing on both sides of the defense. The team trusted him to shadow some of college football’s top receivers, including Marvin Harrison Jr. Temperament will be one of his major selling points for teams. Physical and aggressive corner who plays with the competitiveness teams look for; chippy defender who also managed to avoid penalties. Uses his hands well to disrupt timing and stay connected when working in man. Has very quick feet to get depth when playing shuffle technique or spot-dropping into zone. Overall play speed is very good, both from an athletic standpoint and because of the energy he brings to the game. Teams tried picking on him in 2022 and he was able to make a lot of plays on the ball; shows good technique when in phase. Trusts his instincts and is very decisive when it comes to driving on a spot; can diagnose screens and swing passes quickly, and closes like a missile. Willing in run support, and can help set the tone with some big hits.

Negatives:

A bit smaller than some of the other top corners in the class. Can get his hips opened early and end up floating a bit at the stem on shorter throws. Gets grabby at the stem in man. Occasional balance/technique issues crop up in transition; doesn’t always look like he’s playing under control. On-ball production dropped off significantly this year and doesn’t have an ideal length. Has very little experience in the slot. Not quite as reliable a tackler as most of the other top prospects, lapsing into throwing his shoulder around too often and lacking ideal length.

Summary:

Came into the year as one of the top cornerback prospects following an excellent sophomore campaign, but put too much sloppy technique on tape this year. Needs to clean up his transitions at the stem in man coverage and wrap up ball carriers much more consistently in run support to reach his potential. Could be viewed as a potential slot candidate early in his career, but because his physicality allows him to play bigger than his size, isn’t necessarily a slot-only option. Energetic and decisive play should have him off the board on the second day.

Projection: Round 2-3

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