The Eagles are transitioning to either a hybrid or 3-4 defense, so there is a need for players that can play in those schemes. In last weekend's draft, the Eagles added three defensive linemen to add some punch to their new odd-front. Of those three players, the final defensive lineman, David King, seems to be the most unknown (and rightfully so, given his draft position).
King is your classic NFL "tweener." He is tall and long enough to play 4-3 defensive end (6'5") but has also has the girth (285 lbs) and power to play defensive tackle. Luckily, the Eagles plan to run a hybrid system that is likely to test King in several spots. A bit of an underachiever, King did not become a serious contributor for the Sooners until his redshirt junior year at Oklahoma. Voted an All-Big 12 second-team selection by coaches, King finished his college career with totals of 41 games, 70 tackles, 7 for loss and 5.5 sacks.
Here is what NFL.com had to say about King as a prospect:
STRENGTHSAthletic, versatile lineman who has played inside and outside for the Sooners. Holds the edge well in the run game, knows his responsibilities outside, potentially giving him a chance at strong-side end. Can two-gap effectively, has upper-body strength to violently punch to get off blocks in either direction. Flashes some initial quickness off the snap, uses his length to pressure outside shoulders of tackles. Most effective as a pass rusher inside, using his length and quickness to at least challenge college guards. Keeps his eye on the quarterback during his rush, will get his hands up in passing lanes. Occasionally shows the hustle down the line to wrap up ballcarriers from behind when unblocked.
WEAKNESSESMight be seen as an outside-inside tweener at the next level. Has not made many plays during his career, mostly because his overall hustle and closing speed outside the box are average. Also inconsistent getting off blocks when really needing to make a play, whether lining up at tackle or end. Can be moved in the upper body when playing inside, gets his shoulders turned. Not an explosive pass rusher when outside, relies on strength and doesn’t get the corner regularly against better tackles. Runs tall, might lack the ability to change directions on containment responsibilities and to break down against quicker NFL running backs.
NFL COMPARISONChristian Ballard
My Take: David King is a bit of mystery to me. I have tracked down tape of him and watched him play live a few times, but the guy just does not seem to be anything special yet. I look at King as a blank 6'5" canvas that Chip Kelly plans to fill out with solid coaching. His aforementioned measurables and physique are intriguing and he has shown the ability to anchor in college. He will likely compete for 5-technique snaps with the Eagles but has a decent amount of competition there with Utah's Joe Kruger and LSU's Bennie Logan selected before him, and with Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Clifton Geathers and Vinny Curry already on the roster. Not to mention undrafted free agents Alabama's Damion Square and Oregon's Isaac Remington. King is the classic example of a guy who goes for the NFL first-year redshirt on injured reserve. King is extremely raw, but his size should help him stick around in the league.
Here is a look at King on the field (#90):