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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Kalen King

by J.T. Toth

Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics.

The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Today’s Spotlight - Penn State, CB, Kalen King

Name- Kalen King

Pos- CB

Team- Penn State

HT/WT- 5’11” 189 lbs.

Born- 1/28/2003

Home – Detroit, MI

Kalen King grew up in Detroit, Michigan and played high school football at Cass Technical High School. King was rated as a 4-star recruit and he chose Penn State over offers from Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. King’s twin brother, Kobe, also plays linebacker at Penn State.

As a freshman, King saw action in 9 games as a reserve and had 23 tackles and a forced fumble in limited time.

King had a big sophomore season in 2022 and was named on the second-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He was also named third-team All-America by Pro Football Focus. King started 9 games at cornerback and played in all 13 games and was 3rd in the nation with 21 passes defended, He also picked off 3 passes and had 18 pass breakups. Teams tried to pick on King as he was playing opposite corner of now-Steeler Joey Porter Jr., but had little success in doing so.

King has loose hips and can open up smoothly, getting to top speed instantly. He reads routes well and demonstrates a good explosion, helping him get to the ball or tackle on time. He’s fluid in his backpedaling and bursts out of his motion quickly. He tracks the ball well and has natural ball skills to complete the play.

In the run game, King takes good angles and understands what the offense is trying to do. On the downside, King gets lazy at times and has been beat on some long plays. He tends to give up when the play breaks down and lacks the physical strength to beat a blocker one-on-one. He’s had issues wrapping up the ball carrier and instead likes to dive tackle, which increases susceptibility to injuries. He plays very “handsy” and thus gets called for his share of penalties. If he can learn to trust his ability and speed, he will become a better player.


  • Fluid hips

  • Playmaker skills

  • Reads offenses well

  • Can mirror receivers


  • Too handsy

  • Not physical

  • Gives up on plays at times

  • Poor tackling technique

Final Analysis

Kalen King needs to match his last season’s play while showing some improvement in his overall game. If he does, he has the chance to be a first round or second round cornerback at a valued position.

Draft 412- DRAFT PROJECTION- Late 1st or 2nd round

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