Patriots Sign Most Versatile Undrafted Player Available

Arguably the most versatile player in the draft D’Eriq King, has landed with a coach known for using players however he can. D’Eriq King the Miami Hurricane has signed with the New England Patriots.

In college King the Texas native committed to Houston in 2016 as a quarterback. Having originally committed to TCU, the former record setting high school quarterback had changed his mind.

He began high school as the 8th string QB, but after a strong camp he was the week 1 starter. This move would prove to be fruitful. After finishing high school having topped records set by Kyler Murray, King had insane numbers.

-Over 10,000 passing yards
-Over 3,000 rushing yards
-Ran for 48 touchdowns
-Topped Kyler Murray’s record of 117 career touchdowns by 23 managing 140 touchdowns

Heading into Houston he faced a similar issue. He was buried on the depth chart at quarterback as a freshman. However that didn’t stop his coaches from getting him on the field.

As a freshman D’Eriq King was asked to play wide receiver. He not only played the position, he would line up there in 10 games.  He would finish the season with:

-29 receptions for 228 yards and 1 TD
-15 carries for 56 yards
-2 of 3 passing for 20 yards and 1 TD
-10 kick returns for 254 yards and 1 TD
-6 punt returns for 29 yards

This displayed just how versatile the 5’8 195 pound quarterback was. In a career reminiscent of former CU Buffalo, and Pittsburgh Steeler Kordell Stewart, King could find himself following a similar path in the NFL.

After his freshman year King would again start his season at wide receiver. This time however before the end of the season he was given a chance to lead a come from behind victory against South Florida. Thus performance led to Houston allowing him to finish the season as the quarterback. King showed that he belonged at QB too.

-90 of 139 (64.7%) for 1,260 yards, 9.6 yards per attempt, 7 tds to 2 ints.
-72 carries for 379 yards and 8 TDs
-29 receptions for 264 yards and 2 TDs.
-1 kick return for 6 yards

If you thought that was impressive his junior season was his best season. 2018 marked a year in which King got to focus on quarterback for Houston. He would reward them with a monster season.

-219 of 345 (63.5%) for 2,982 yards 36 TDs, 6 ints, and a 8.6 yard average
-111 carries, 674 yards, and 14 TDs
-1 reception for 12 yards
-Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins only players to top his 50 tds.

Heading into his senior season King had high expectations for himself. However late in the previous season he had suffered an injury which carried into his senior year. He tried to play through it but it affected his play. He would shut it down for the season after 4 games and redshirt for the rest of the season to retain eligibility heading into 2020.

In four games he managed:
-58 of 110 (52.7%) for 663 yards 6 TDs to 2 ints, with a career low 6.0 yards per attempt
-55 carries for 312 yards and 6 touchdowns

As we all know at the end of 2019, Covid 19 reared it’s ugly head and took the world by storm. Quickly we saw the announcement it had become a pandemic, and we began seeing games be cancelled in leagues across the world. The NCAA felt the wrath of this pandemic as well.

Despite this some schools were able to play a nearly full season. King played in 11 games during 2020 for the U. Otherwise known as the Miami Hurricanes. He was immediately installed as the starting quarterback. King did not disappoint.

-211 of 329 (64.1%) 2,686 yards or 8.2 per attempt with 23 TDs and just 5 ints.
-130 carries for 538 yards and 4 touchdowns
-2 receptions for 16 yards

Prior to the season the NCAA changed their Name and Likeness rules allowing players to profit of their image. King took advantage of this immediately forming a partnership with FSU QB McKenzie Milton. They formed a business to help student athletes schedule appearances to help other students find paying gigs.

2020 would have been King’s redshirt senior season and eliminate the last of his eligibility. However due to covid 19 every student was awarded another year of eligibility. King viewed this as a chance to cement his status as a sure fire draft pick. Unfortunately the year would not end the way he had hoped.

-81 of 122 (66.4%) 767 yards 3 TDs to 4 ints 6.3 average
-40 carries for 96 yards

This was far from what he wanted, not only did he get hurt, but his play was not up to his usual standard. The timing couldn’t have been worse for King given the fact that he was now out of eligibility.

Due in part to his injury history, couple with his size, and jumping around position wise, he would find himself watching as all 7 rounds passed him by.

This however allowed him the ability to choose where he would play in 2022. He made the correct choice, and signed with the New England Patriots.

Bill Belichick has made a career of signing versatile players like King and finding a role for them. Whether it was Julian Edelman who converted from QB to WR, Troy Brown who played WR, PR, DB when asked, Mike Vrabel who played LB, and tight end…Belichick has a knack for finding the strengths of a player.

King is going to be a fun player to watch in New England. The amount of ways you could use King is nearly endless. Whether it’s as a backup QB, 3rd down RB, wide receiver, in the return game, and other manners on special teams.

I personally think King has a great chance of sticking in New England with the Patriots. I can’t wait to see how Bill Belichick chooses to use him.

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