With Pro Days wrapping up, it’s time for the final stage of the pre-draft process – pre-draft meetings. These meetings aren’t always reserved just for top prospects. Often, teams will use these opportunities to get a closer look at players expected to go deeper in the draft who they may not have as much tape on or access to information about.
That was the case for at least one of the Patriots’ meetings this year. According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, Miami quarterback D’Eriq King has met with the Patriots at some point since the Combine. Wilson added that meeting included a private workout with assistant offensive coach Joe Judge.
Even before he reaches the NFL, King’s football journey has been a fascinating one. As a sophomore at Manvel High School in Texas, King was the eighth quarterback on the depth chart to start the season. By the end of the season, he’d taken over the team’s starting job. He finished his high school career with over 10,000 passing yards and over 2,700 rushing yards while accounting for 163 touchdowns in 42 games. That included 126 passing touchdowns, breaking Kyler Murray’s state record. He initially committed to TCU but later redeclared and ended up at Houston.
In his freshman year at Houston, King was behind all-conference quarterback Greg Ward on the depth chart. After the team saw a number of injuries at wide receiver, King started taking reps there. He split his sophomore year between quarterback and receiver, and caught 61 passes for 520 yards and three touchdowns in his college career.
King moved to QB full time as a junior. He had the best season of his career, throwing for 36 touchdowns and adding another 14 more on the ground in 11 games. However, a torn meniscus cost him the end of that season as well as the majority of his senior season in 2019.
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 11: D'Eriq King #1 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates a first down against the Appalachian State Mountaineers during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
In 2020, King transferred to Miami. He had another strong year, but elected to use his extra year of eligibility in 2021. After starting three games, his season was once again ended by and injury – this time to his throwing shoulder. King will be 25 when the 2022 NFL season begins.
Concerns about King’s size (5-foot-9, 196 pounds) and durability may have some teams writing him off as an NFL quarterback. At the same time, his diverse skillset, high football IQ, and experience as a multi-year starter in multiple systems may make him a strong candidate as a practice squad scout team quarterback. That could be a trait that interests the Patriots.
At the same time, King made it clear during his six-year college career that he can impact the game with the ball in his hands. As a converted quarterback, his route-running was surprisingly advanced his first two years. Some draft experts suggest he could make the move back to wide receiver in the pros, and contribute out of the slot.
All of that put together, there’s a lot for the Patriots to like about King. His medicals need to check out – which may have been part of the reason the team wanted to meet with him – but he checks a number of their boxes. He’s currently projected to be a late Day 3 pick or priority UDFA.
2022 Patriots pre-draft meeting tracker
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.