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Desmond King II (born December 14, 1994) is an American football cornerback for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He earned All-Pro honors in 2018 as both a defensive back and a punt returner. He previously played college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Desmond King II
refer to caption
King in 2017
No. 20 – Los Angeles Chargers
Personal information
Born: (1994-12-14) December 14, 1994 (age 24)
Detroit, Michigan
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:East English Village Prep
(Detroit, Michigan)
NFL Draft:2017 / Round: 5 / Pick: 151
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018
Total Tackles:138
Forced fumbles:1
Passes defensed:15
Return yards:1,360
Total Touchdowns:3
Player stats at


High school careerEdit

King attended East English Village Preparatory Academy in Detroit, Michigan.[1] He played defensive back and running back for the Bulldogs. During his career, he set a Michigan high school record with 29 interceptions.[2][3] He also set a school record for career rushing yards and had 2,360 as a senior.[4] King was rated by a three-star recruit and committed to the University of Iowa to play college football.[5][6]

College careerEdit

King attended Iowa under head coach Kirk Ferentz.[7] As a true freshman at the University of Iowa in 2013, King appeared in all 13 games and made 12 starts.[8] He was the first true freshman to start at defensive back for Iowa since 2002.[9] He started all 13 games his sophomore year in 2014 and had 64 tackles and three interceptions.[10] King returned as a starter his junior year in 2015.[11] He also became Iowa's punt and kick returner.[12] After a terrific junior season in which he had 43 tackles, and a Big-Ten high 8 interceptions, King was named a consensus first-team All-American and won the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the best defensive back in all of college football.[13] Despite being projected as an early-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, King announced that he would return to Iowa for his senior season.[14] On November 29, 2016, King was name First Team All-Big Ten for the second season in a row.[15] He was also named a 2016 AP Second-Team All-American.[16]

College statisticsEdit

Iowa Hawkeyes
Year Team GP Tackles For Loss Passes Def Int FF
2013 Iowa 13 69 3.0 8 0 0
2014 Iowa 13 64 2.0 5 3 0
2015 Iowa 14 72 1.0 13 8 0
2016 Iowa 13 58 3.5 7 3 1
College Totals 53 263 9.5 33 14 1

Professional careerEdit

External video
  Desmond King’s NFL Combine Workout
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 10 in
(1.78 m)
201 lb
(91 kg)
31 18 in
(0.79 m)
9 58 in
(0.24 m)
4.60 s 2.64 s 1.57 s 4.18 s 6.67 s 34 in
(0.86 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
14 reps
All values from NFL Combine/University of Iowa's Pro Day{[17] [18]


The Los Angeles Chargers selected King in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.[19] He was the 21st cornerback and the last of four Iowa players drafted in 2017.[20]

External video
  Chargers draft Desmond King 151st overall

On May 11, 2017, the Los Angeles Chargers signed King to a four-year, $2.67 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $279,992.[21]

Throughout training camp, King competed for the role as the third cornerback on the depth chart against Trevor Williams, Steve Williams, Craig Mager, and Trovon Reed.[22] Head coach Anthony Lynn named King the starting nickelback and the fourth cornerback on the depth chart to start the regular season, behind Jason Verrett, Casey Hayward, and Trevor Williams. Special teams coach George Stewart named King the secondary kick returner, along with wide receiver Isaiah Burse.[23]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Los Angeles Chargers' season-opener at the Denver Broncos and made one pass deflection during their 24–21 loss. Starting cornerback Jason Verrett suffered a torn ACL during the game and was placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. King was promoted to the third cornerback on the depth chart behind Casey Hayward and Trevor Williams in his absence.[24] The following week, King earned his first career start as the starting nickelback and collected six combined tackles in a 19–17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. In Week 8, King recorded four solo tackles and made his first career sack on Tom Brady during a 21–13 loss at the New England Patriots. On November 23, 2017, King recorded five solo tackles, a pass break up, and returned his first career interception off Dak Prescott for a 90-yard touchdown during a 28–6 victory at the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.[25] On December 10, 2017, King made his fourth career start and made a season-high ten combined tackles, a pass deflection, and sacked Washington Redskins' quarterback Kirk Cousins during the Chargers' 30–13 victory.[26] King finished his rookie season in 2017 with 76 combined tackles (66 solo), five pass deflections, and an interception in 12 games and four starts. He also returned 17 kickoffs for 353 yards.[27] He received an overall grade of 86.5 from Pro Football Focus in 2017, which ranked as the 14th highest grade among all qualifying cornerbacks. His grade was also the third highest among all rookie cornerbacks in 2017.[28]


King entered training camp slated as a backup cornerback, but became the slot cornerback after Jason Verrett tore his Achilles tendon on the first day of training camp. Head coach Anthony Lynn named King the first-team nickelback and third cornerback on the depth chart to begin the regular season, behind starters Casey Hayward and Trevor Williams.[29]

External video
  Desmond King breaks loose on 56-yard punt return
  King intercepts Mayfield for the second time

On October 14, 2018, King recorded two solo tackles, three pass deflections, and intercepted two pass attempts by Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield during a 38–14 victory at the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.[30] On November 4, 2018, King made three combined tackles, broke up two pass attempts, and returned an interception for a 42-yard touchdown during a 25–17 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9. King intercepted a pass by Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, which was intended for wide receiver David Moore, during the fourth quarter. His performance in a Week 9 earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week.[31] In Week 13, King collected a season-high ten combined tackles (nine solo) and returned a punt for a 73-yard touchdown as the Chargers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 33–30. He received AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.[32][33] He finished the season with 67 combined tackles (47 solo), ten pass deflections, three interceptions, a forced fumble, and one touchdown in 16 games and eight starts. King also had 22 punt returns for 522-yards (23.7 YPR) and 23 kick returns 318-yards and one touchdown (13.8 YPR).[34] King received an overall grade of 90.4 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked as the second highest grade among all cornerbacks.[35][36] On January 4, 2019 King was named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, earning first-team accolades as a defensive back and second-team as a punt returner.[37]

The Los Angeles Chargers finished tied atop the AFC West with a 12–4 record in 2018 and earned a wildcard berth. On January 6, 2019, King started his first career playoff game and recorded four combined tackles and one sack during the Chargers’ 23–17 victory at the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wildcard Game.[38]

Career statisticsEdit

Defensive StatsEdit

2017 LAC 16 76 66 10 4.0 0 0 0 1 90 90.0 90T 1 5
2018 LAC 16 62 47 15 0.0 1 2 0 3 75 25.0 42T 1 10

Return StatsEdit

2017 LAC 16 1 2 0 2 2.0 17 353 0 44 20.8 355 90 445 1 0 1
2018 LAC 16 23 318 1 73T 13.8 22 522 0 40 23.7 840 75 915 1 0 2


  1. ^ Williams, Eric D. (November 13, 2018). "Chargers' Desmond King is feisty, 'instinctive football player'". Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Hello, my name is...CB Desmond King". The Gazette. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Nelson, Jim. "Iowa football: King the man in the right place at right times". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.
  4. ^ Brown, Rick. "Desmond King: A story of thanks, tragedy and record-setting success". Hawk Central. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Desmond King". Yahoo! Sports.
  6. ^ Harty, Pat. "Record-breaking Detroit cornerback commits to Iowa". Hawk Central. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015.
  7. ^ Batterson, Steve. "Desmond King prepares to complete unfinished business at Iowa". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  8. ^ "King of a long road". The Daily Iowan. Archived from the original on September 25, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Brown, Rick (August 4, 2014). "Desmond King success story was told once before". Des Moines Register.
  10. ^ "No. 3 – CB Desmond King". The Gazette.
  11. ^ Leistikow, Chad (October 5, 2015). "Desmond King honored, on a 'different level' this year". Hawk Central.
  12. ^ Leistikow, Chad (September 28, 2015). "Desmond King experiment has given Hawkeyes 'a spark'". Hawk Central.
  13. ^ Leistikow, Chad (December 10, 2015). "Iowa's Desmond King captures Jim Thorpe Award". Hawk Central.
  14. ^ Sherman, Mitch (January 5, 2016). "Thorpe Award winner Desmond King will return to Iowa Hawkeyes". ESPN.
  15. ^ "2016 Big Ten Individual Award Winners" (PDF). Big Ten Conference. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  16. ^ "2016 AP All-America Team". Associated Press. Associated Press. December 12, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  17. ^
  18. ^ | title=NFL Draft Profile: Desmond King| url= |accessdate=February 20, 2018|}}
  19. ^ Henne, Ricky (April 29, 2017). "Chargers Draft Ball-Hawking DB Desmond King". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "Football database: Iowa NFL Draft History". FootballDB.Com. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  21. ^ " Desmond King contract". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  22. ^ Wakerman, Travis. "Chargers Bubble Watch: Will Craig Mager be on the outside looking in?". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  23. ^ " Los Angeles Chargers' depth chart: 10/01/2017". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  24. ^ Digiovanna, Mike (September 15, 2017). "Chargers make cornerback Jason Verrett rest his injured left knee, which is still not 100%". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  25. ^ "Rivers, Chargers beat fading Cowboys 28-6 on Thanksgiving". Associated Press. November 23, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  26. ^ "NFL Player stats: Desmond King (2017)". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  27. ^ "NFL Player stats: Desmond King (career)". Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  28. ^ Moy, William. "Chargers' CB Desmond King thrives as a slot CB". Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  29. ^ Stanley, Matthew (September 4, 2018). "Chargers release first "unofficial" depth chart". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  30. ^ "Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns - October 14th, 2018". Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  31. ^ "Kareem Hunt, Michael Thomas among Players of the Week". November 7, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  32. ^ Newby, John. "Desmond King scores punt-return touchdown". 247 Sports. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  33. ^ Elwood, Hayley. "Desmond King Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week". Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  34. ^ Cite error: The named reference career was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  35. ^ "Pro Football Focus: Desmond King". Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  36. ^ Goss, Nick. "Patriots' Stephon Gilmore was PFF's highest graded NFL cornerback in 2018". Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  37. ^ "2018 AP All-Pro Team Rosters and Voting". AP NEWS. January 4, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  38. ^ "NFL Player stats: Desmond King (2018)". Retrieved January 8, 2019.

External linksEdit