Tennessee Titans: Getting to know Desmond King II
The Tennessee Titans surprised many NFL fans by making a move just 24 hours before the trade deadline to help mend what has been the worst secondary in the league this season. Yes that's right, even at 5-2, the Titans' defense is unable to get off the field on third down and cannot cover even mediocre wide receivers.
The secondary is patched together at the moment with Adoree Jackson yet to play a game this year and Kristian Fulton being moved to the injured reserve after the loss to the Steelers just over a week ago.
The Titans might have just struck gold trading a sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft (acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars in the trade for Kamalei Correa a few weeks back) for slot cornerback Desmond King II. The Los Angeles Chargers scratched King from their game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday indicating that Tennessee and L.A. were close to making the move official.
King is a very good corner and is a perfect addition to this team. Though he had a rough season in 2019 and has remained rather quiet this year with 19 tackles and no interceptions, or pass deflections, fans and coaches are hoping to have the King of 2017 when he was the highest graded corner according to Pro Football Focus and was an All-Pro in 2018.
The former Iowa Hawkeye won the Jim Thorpe Award given to the best cornerback in college football in 2015 where he had eight interceptions and helped his team to a 12-2 season and the Rose Bowl.
Just based off of these stats above, it is abundantly clear how much of an improvement King is over the rookie duo of Fulton and Chris Jackson. It also helps that King II has substantial experience both on defense playing in the slot and on special teams as a punt and kick returner.
What makes the move from Tennessee even better is that they gave up very little, will only take a $1.1 million cap hit, and are not tied down to King if he doesn't pan out since this is the last year of his rookie contract. Mike Herndon aptly points out that King is nearly the same size as former slot corner Logan Ryan (King II is 5'10", 200 pounds while Ryan is 5'11", 195 pounds) and the tantalizing stats and performances from his first two years in the league are likely what prompted Tennessee to go after him.
If (and it is apparently a huge if) Adoree is finally cleared to make his debut this week, King II could immediately take up the slot corner spot and move both Jonathan Joseph and Jackson to the bench, mercifully.
This is the first time in Jon Robinson's nearly five year tenure as Titans' General Manager that he has made a move of any kind just before the Trade Deadline and I think we can all agree that this is a great one!
Head coach Mike Vrabel told the media during his press conference Monday afternoon that King II would be sitting in on Zoom meetings this week and barring any complications with COVID-19 could make his debut immediately this weekend when the Titans' host the Chicago Bears.