Nick Caserio signed a lot of players this offseason, but only a few of them were real football players. Desmond King was one of them. He’s a bizarre player, though. He’s a low leg sweeping sure tackler, decent blitzer, zone coverage sitter who plays slot corner, but he is awful at the most important aspect of playing slot corner—man coverage. He’s the ultimate let-him-do-what-he-does-best-and-he’ll-have-success player.
Pro Football Focus ranked the ten best slot cornerbacks entering the 2021 NFL season. They had Desmond King ranked sixth. This is what PFF had to say:
King’s career has trended in the wrong direction since making a splash with PFF grades north of 85.0 in his first two NFL seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. He followed up that hot start with solid, yet unspectacular, grades of 70.9 and 67.0 in the last two years.
King has been a reliable run defender and tackler throughout his first four seasons. Coverage has been the area where his play has started to decline. However, King still ranks in the 69th percentile of all slot defenders in coverage grade since 2019. He’ll look for a fresh start on a Houston defense in need of playmakers next season.
Look at Desmond King. Great at tackling. A big playmaker. Bad at actual covering opponents in the slot. He’s the perfect buy-low signing the Houston Texans needed to make.