4. CB Kevin King
King might be one of the single most crucial elements to a successful Packers team in 2018. That is a lot of pressure to put on the second year pro. Mostly because of injuries to players in front of him, King played in almost 65 percent of the team’s defensive snaps during his rookie season. As expected, there were some rookie blunders. Other than some of the typical rookie mistakes, there was nothing else to really suggest that King is going to struggle at the NFL level.
King is a prototypical corner for Mike Pettine’s defensive scheme. He is built as a press corner, standing at 6-foot-3, and has long arms that are useful in jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. King experienced some success with this in his rookie season, but will look to continue to improve this skill in 2018. The place where King struggled was on inside routes. The ability to stop those types of routes will come with time. Once King has developed his ability to diagnose plays quickly, he can get jumps on these routes.
Another important note on King has to do with his nagging shoulder injury. This hindered his ability to effectively jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and re-direct them, which in turns helps with the defense of those inside routes. There were reports stating that King’s shoulder problems stemmed all the way back to college. Reports out of Packers camp this offseason indicate that King underwent successful shoulder surgery and will be healthy come training camp in July.