Former Houston Cougars and Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King was one of the most athletic players in all of college football in both 2018 and 2020, but a transfer and a shoulder injury prevented him from upping his stock heading into the 2022 NFL Draft.
He didn’t get picked, but the New England Patriots scooped him up on the undrafted free agent market, which is their specialty. Bring in some guys with chips on their shoulders, have them buy into the system, and fit them into areas of the roster that need supplementation.
But don’t worry, Mac Jones won’t be affected by King’s arrival should he succeed. In fact, King might be a weapon for Jones on offense, depending on how the rookie catches on in rookie camp and training camp in the coming months.
Typically, these stories about black quarterbacks transitioning into different roles aren’t viewed favorably — and understandably so! — but it appears King is on board with using his tremendous athleticism for the greater good in New England.
Can former college star D’Eriq King be a weapon for the Patriots?
“I talked to (Patriots director of player personnel) Matt Groh, and he was excited,” King said, via Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson. “I’m thankful for the opportunity. He told me I’ll do a little bit of everything — receiver, quarterback, running back — whatever I can do to stick.
“I want to do what I can to be seen and have the opportunity to make the team. I’m going to try to get on special teams, too.”
King isn’t the biggest player (5-foot-10, 195 pounds), but his speed, agility and physicality made him one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation at one point. For his career, he finished with 423 rushes for 2,055 yards (4.9 YPC) and 32 touchdowns. Additionally, early in his career at Houston, he played some wide receiver, hauling in 58 passes for 492 yards and three touchdowns back in 2016 and 2017. The versatility is there. And there are enough playmakers on the Patriots’ offense now to help keep defenses on their toes if the team wants to deploy King in some special packages.
King’s college career ended with a thud, but that doesn’t speak to what he’s capable of at the next level due to his plentiful accomplishments throughout his time at Houston and Miami. Remember the last quarterback the Patriots drafted that turned into a star at another position? Can’t seem to recall his name …