In a preseason full of lackluster performances and disappointing effort, one player just keeps performing.
Since being drafted by the Chargers with the 151st pick in the 2017 draft, Desmond King has been a fan favorite. Not only did the team get a quality player who could fill a hole in the defense, but they acquired him in the fifth round.
Much had been made about his offseason work, frequently being hailed as a standout by both coaches and media alike. However, practice performance only goes so far, as true talent and aptitude can only be measured in game performance. How’d the rookie do?
Well, so far, he’s crushing it.
In his first preseason game against the Seahawks, King played quality snaps that demonstrated a solid ability to find the football and tackle soundly. To cap it off, he netted his first NFL interception with a beautiful leaping grab.
Yesterday, he took another big step forward. If you want to see tackling, check out his defensive stop. Coverage? He allowed one yard on two targets. King even added a sack, in which he overpowered the blocker to get to the quarterback. The defensive back had a great day, and was given the “game ball” by Pro Football Focus, who graded him at 85.9.
Clearly, the Iowa product can play, and he deserves to start. Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward are penciled in as the outside starters and will remain there as long as they are healthy. King would thrive as the third corner on the field or could even play safety if needed. And if one of the aforementioned starting duo were to be injured, he could slide in and likely perform well.
Look for the rookie to get more playing time moving forward. How long until he starts a game remains to be seen, as it is ultimately up to the coaching staff. But for now, he’ll keep playing well and earning our respect with every snap. He’s my preseason MVP so far, and one of the true bright spots on a Chargers team that’s looking for anything positive after two rough losses.
Long live the King.