Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Justin King Post

I am a Penn State blog so below is my mandatory "Justin King NFL Draft Post" post.

My thoughts on players leaving early...
I gave up on the sanctity of college ball a long time ago. My Notre Dame friends deny this but the truth is the best players, the ones who's names you know, are not at college to go to college. They just aren't. They are there to develop into NFL talent. It is the best place to do this, and until the system changes, we can't expect any kind of Paul Posluszny loyalty on a consistent basis. Players rarely leave PSU early*. When one does it is kind of a big deal, compared to a place like FSU or OSU where it seems four or five juniors leave every year.

My thoughts on Justin King as a PSU player...
He never lived up to the hype. Sorry. He was very good though. I don't mean to bring him down, but remember that he was a top ten player nationally, on a list that included players from all positions. Everyone said he was a natural corner. His reputation was enough to keep most coaches from throwing at him. He shut down Ted Ginn several times, but I still hold that Ted Ginn was one of the most overrated Big Ten players ever. Ya he was fast (and so is King), but his catches went something like this: Ginn waits for snap, Ginn runs straight downfiled, Ginn catches the ball, Ginn runs out of bounds so he doesn't get hit.

Anyway, I'm sraying from the point. King is a great athlete, he is a good corner but he was totally exposed against both taller receivers and onces that ran very good routes. He was thrown on every singe down during the Indiana game, and no one in the second half of the season shyed away from his side of the field.

And I'm not picking on him. He was a top 10 recruit and chose lowly Penn State during the dark ages of Paterno era football. I thank him for that. His class gave our program life that we desperately needed.

My thoughts on the state of the secondary...
This leaves us very thin at corner, you can read all about that at just about all of the PSU blogs linked on the right dash so I won't go into it here. My only point is that this isn't a lethal blow. King will be missed but he is not irreplaceable. The way the program has been since 2005, it's always the positions you expect to be weak, the players you didn't see coming, that end up being good. I don't mean to rely on this because it's totally counter-logical, but I just can't get worked up about this right now.

My thoughts on Justin King as an NFL draft prospect...
I wish him nothing but total success and good luck during the whole process. I've seen him projected anywhere from late first round to early third. I don't follow the NFL, mostly because I retired my fantasy team two years ago, but I do know that it is a totally different game that requires a totally different type of player. As an NFL team I would worry about his performance against some the taller and more shifty receivers, but then again I'm sure there is a reason he was not thrown at for almost two years. Also, keep in mind he was always covering the best receiver on the field, so you would expect to see him more often than not, and that wasn't always the case. Physically, he is quick and works hard, so I can see his upside as well. Besides that, if teams are even considering Morelli as a prospect, then there is no doubt King will be given a shot.

I don't blame King for leaving and I look forward to watching him on Sundays.

*Mostly because they aren't good enough, but not always. Either way don't tell them that.

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