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Mitch King

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 280 | College: Iowa
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

Much like his Hawkeye predecessors, Aaron Kampman (Green Bay) and Jonathan Babineaux (Atlanta), King is a classic overachiever in an undersized body for the position he plays. Despite giving up considerable bulk to his opponents, a poll taken during the 2008 Big Ten Conference Football Kickoff Convention saw King walk away as the clear winner when opposing offensive linemen were asked who the toughest competitor that they have ever faced was.

Having joined the Iowa program as a 230-pound linebacker, King is a classic example of the fine weight room/training program that the Hawkeyes receive. Whether playing nose guard or right defensive tackle, his high motor has made him a force to be reckoned with. He became the 60th player in school history to register more than 200 tackles in a career. He finished his career with 55 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, the most by an Iowa player since Jared DeVries set the school all-time record with 78.0 from 1995-98.

The team's unquestioned field general, he has always been a leader among men, serving on the team's Leadership Council since his sophomore year (one of just four second-year players to serve). His value to the team can't be measured in personal statistics, and the league's coaches recognized that, naming him the 2008 Big Ten Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year.

To get a true gauge of King's value to the team, one only has to look at the defense's improvement over the past three seasons. As a sophomore, the Hawkeyes ranked 57th in the nation in rush defense (133.62 ypg) and 68th in total defense (343.77 ypg). As a junior, he helped Iowa place 24th nationally vs. the run (122.0 ypg) and rank 36th by giving up an average of 351.17 total yards per game. In his final season, the squad finished ninth in the NCAA in rush defense (94.0 ypg), 12th in total defense (291.31 ypg) and fifth in scoring defense (13.0 ppg).

At Burlington High School, King earned Class 4A first-team All-State honors from the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association as a senior. He was a member of Super Prep's All-Region team and was a first-team All-Conference choice as both a linebacker and running back in 2003.

King lettered just twice in football, picking up second-team All-Conference defensive honors as a linebacker during his junior campaign. He rushed for 850 yards as a senior and 550 more during his junior season. He also earned a pair of letters in swimming and baseball.

King enrolled at Iowa in 2004, spending the season on the scout team as a linebacker. With Babineaux having graduated, King, now weighing 247 pounds, started eight games at right tackle in 2005, earning Freshman All-American and All-Big Ten Conference honors. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week vs. Wisconsin and made a career-high 60 tackles (36 solos) with two sacks, as he ranked 11th in the league with 10.5 stops for losses. He also caused three fumbles.

In 2006, King started 11 games, sitting out the Michigan clash due to a hamstring pull. He collected 56 tackles (35 solos) along with seven sacks, improving to eighth in the Big Ten with 14 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He continued to man the right tackle spot in 2007, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors after posting 58 tackles (25 solos) with 4.5 sacks and finished sixth in the conference with 14.5 stops for losses.

King received All-American, All-Big Ten Conference first-team and league Defensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2008. He was credited with four sacks among his 54 tackles (27 solos), as he also caused two fumbles. He also paced the Buckeyes with a career-high 15.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.


Positives: Short, squatty defender with a low center of gravity, making it tough to move him off the line of scrimmage. Good strength, especially in his lower body, to anchor. Good initial quickness off the snap. Good hand placement and quickness. Forceful hands to disengage from the blocker. Good short-area vertical and lateral quickness to slip blocks and make plays in the hole. Instinctive defender who sees the action and puts himself in position to make plays. High-effort, high-intensity player who makes those around him better. Four-year starter.

Negatives: Bit of a "tweener." Lacks the height, flexibility and speed off the edge teams prefer outside at defensive end and the bulk inside for defensive tackle. Needs to be protected by a bigger defensive tackle next to him to handle playing inside in the NFL.

Compares To: JONATHAN BABINEAUX, Atlanta -- Iowa has been producing classic overachievers that the NFL had doubts on like Babineaux and Aaron Kampman. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz calls King a better player than those two. Based on how well Kampman and Babineaux have played in the pros, is there any doubt that King could be the next one to fool all the scouting experts?

Scouting Report


Body Structure: King has a solid build, not overly muscled and has some more room for additional growth if he is to remain at defensive tackle, but also can drop a few pounds for a possible move to linebacker. As an interior lineman, he looks shorter than ideal to be a two-gap tackle, but he has good upper body thickness, a solid lower frame, firm midsection, thick chest, adequate arm length (31-inch length) and minimal body fat.

Athletic Ability: King lacks blazing speed, but shows the quick feet, balance and initial burst to surprise a lethargic blocker. With his squat frame and low center of gravity, it is hard for blockers to root him out, especially when he keeps his hands active. He shows good flexibility changing direction to make plays down the line and a good closing burst to seal the deal on the backfield opponent. He has above average acceleration off the snap and shows the flexibility and knee bend to consistently gain leverage. He moves with good balance and coordination, flashing enough burst to be disruptive at times. One of his best assets is his quick feet and he also has the functional speed to make plays in long pursuit. GRADE: 6.4

Football Sense: King is mentally sharp on the football field, as quarterback need not try to trick him with play-action or misdirection. He is alert to the snap cadence and is rarely caught out of position, but will let his emotions get the best at him at times, resulting in penalties. He plays on consistent instincts and should have no problem playing in a complicated defense. He is a steady player with a good feel for blocking schemes, but his lack of size will make him struggle to locate the ball in a crowd. He needs only normal reps to retain. GRADE: 6.0

Character: King has been a great presence in the locker room and has been a member of the team's leadership council since his sophomore year. He knows how to keep his teammates loose and has never been a problem off the field. He has the intangibles you look for in a person - good character off the field, tenacious player on it. GRADE: 6.5

Competitiveness: King is a highly competitive player, tough as nails. If he moved to linebacker, he would be like an old school type and former Baltimore Colts favorite - Mike Curtis. He gives 100 percent effort on every play and while his lack of size might cause him to lose sight of the ball at times, he shows urgency closing once he locates it. He shows the desire to dominate and plays until the whistle. GRADE: 6.3

Work Habits: King is a hard worker on the field and in the class room, but needs to improve his bulk if he is to stay at defensive tackle. He is the unquestioned team leader and while he doesn't need to say much, when he speaks, players listen. He is a member of the team's leadership council and takes pride in that role. GRADE: 6.0


Explosion/Pursuit: King is not going to shock anyone with sudden explosion off the snap, but he is a quick twitch player who can get an edge at the snap, especially with his low center of gravity and good pad level. He is much quicker attacking the pocket shooting the gaps than taking a loop around the corner. He has enough snap quickness to disrupt the pocket and when he stays low in his pads, King shows the burst to get advantage on a blocker. He is shorter than ideal, but that actually helps him at times, as he can shoot the gaps and get pressure on the quarterback. GRADE: 6.0

Strength at Point: King is not going to relieve Charles Atlas from holding up the globe, but when he keeps his knees and hips bent in the proper athletic position, he does a good job of maintaining hand control, combining all to stack blocks and split double teams. He has decent, but not great lateral agility, as there is slight stiffness and when he narrows his base he loses his balance quite a bit, making him ineffective working down the line. He has functional playing strength to hold his ground. When he fires off the snap low, he can torque and shed at the point of attack and make plays vs. the run. His explosion and leg drive lets him squeeze through tight spaces. He will generally play on his feet and is quick to cross the face of the blocker. His size poses problems when he gets high in his stance, as blockers can get their hands on him. Once the offensive guard locks on, King is prone to getting himself pulled and jerked. GRADE: 6.4

Use of Hands: King has quick hands with a strong punch. He uses his hands well to fend off blocks, but his arms are shorter than ideal, making him become more conscious of avoiding reach blocks, as he will struggle to shed when engulfed. He has the functional upper body power, burst and proper hand usage to keep blockers off his chest, but he needs to do a better job of protecting his legs from low blocks. He does not look natural combating cut blocks, as he is a little late to engage when that happens. GRADE: 6.2

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: Like his speed, his lateral movements are adequate, at best. King will hustle from the backside, but he lacks the explosive burst to close from the edge, negating some value as a defensive end. He makes a lot of tackles chasing down the ball after shooting the inside gaps. He also does a nice job of timing his leaps and getting his hands up to deflect passes. He has adequate speed in long pursuit, but compensates by taking his pursuit angle with good efficiency. GRADE: 5.6

Tackling Ability: King might not look the part, but he is surprisingly strong when locking up the ball carrier and few have the ability to bounce off his wrap tackles. He has enough force behind his hits to punish the runner. He uses good leverage to make plays at the point of attack and shows good urgency to collide with ball carriers and wrap in closed quarters. There is not much leakage when working in space either. He will use his arms effectively to wrap and lock up with his functional strength. GRADE: 7.2

Run Defense: Because of his squat frame, low pad level and low center of gravity, King is quite effective getting under the pads of a blocker to jerk, pull down and control. He is combative with his hands to keep blockers at bay and shed blocks. He is not really effective in long pursuit, as he lacks great sideline range. He shows a strong anchor to hold his ground and is tough to root out, especially when he fires out low through the gaps. He flashes the ability to jolt the offensive guard with his quick burst off the snap. He has the agility to shed and make tackles in the backfield. Even though he lacks size for the two-gap, he has the strength to hold his position and his low center of gravity makes it hard for the centers and guards to push him off the ball. GRADE: 7.2

Pass Rush: King is not going to remind anyone of Reggie White as a pass rusher, but he's not going to just spin in his tracks. He is best attacking the pocket from the inside gaps rather than coming off the edge. He shows good snap reaction and is used often on stunts and twists, where he is quite effective thanks to his leg drive and hand punch, but lacks the needed short-area burst. Increased bulk and improved strength are going to be needed for him to be effective working in-line at the next level, though. When he plays up high and tries to peak in the backfield, he struggles, but he can also get enough push to be disruptive when utilized to shoot the inside gaps. The bigger concern is that he does not have a great array of pass rush moves. GRADE: 5.6

Closing on the QB: King lacks the needed explosiveness to flush out and get to the quarterback coming off the edge, but does a functional job penetrating through the inside gaps. He is effective on twists and games, but lacks the sharp lateral moves to be consistent here. He generates enough burst through a lane to create a lot of his hurries there. GRADE: 5.7

Instincts/Recognition: King shows better reactions and does an effective job of picking up blocking schemes when attacking through the gaps. But, he struggles to locate the ball working in the crowd. He has good timing to deflect passes at the line of scrimmage, but needs to be conscious of not narrowing his base to combat in one-on-one situations. He gets a low charge off the snap on his bull rush to drive the offensive linemen back into the pocket and is active with his hands in attempts to shed, but he does not always locate the ball. GRADE: 5.6

Compares To: JONATHAN BABINEAUX, Atlanta -- Iowa has been producing classic overachievers that the NFL had doubts on like Babineaux and Aaron Kampman. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz calls King a better player than those two. Based on how well Kampman and Babineaux have played in the pros, is there any doubt that King could be the next one to fool all the scouting experts?


--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

King started 44 of 49 games during his Iowa career, becoming the 60th player in school history to record more than 200 tackles, ranking 39th all-time with 228 hits (123 solos) that included 17.5 sacks for minus 124 yards … His 55.0 tackles for losses totaling 219 yards are the most by a Hawkeye since Jared DeVries set the school career record with 78.0 (1995-98) … Credited with 17 quarterback pressures … Caused six fumbles, recovered another and deflected 12 passes.

2008 Season

All-American second-team selection by The NFL Draft Report … All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice and named the league's Defensive Lineman of the Year … Named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and the Lott Trophy Watch Lists … Lined up at right defensive tackle, recording 54 tackles (27 solos) with a pair of forced fumbles and six quarterback pressures … Led the team with four sacks for minus 37 yards and paced the Hawkeyes with 15.5 stops for losses totaling 65 yards, the eighth-best season total in the Big Ten … Helped Iowa rank ninth in the nation and second in the league in rush defense (94.0 ypg), place 12th nationally and second in the Big Ten in total defense (291.31 ypg) and finish fifth in the NCAA while leading the league in scoring defense (13.0 ppg).

2008 Game Analysis

Maine … In a 46-3 opening win, the defense allowed just 83 passing yards and 220 yards total offense, as King recorded two tackles, including one for a loss … Head to Head Competition: OG#50-Matthew Barber (6:04-289).

Florida International … In a 42-0 win over Florida International, the Hawkeyes gave up just 56 rushing yards and 218 yards total offense, with King delivering one solo tackle and two assists, along with 1.5 stops for minus 6 yards that included a 5-yard sack … Head to Head Competition: OG#78-Dustin Gibson (6:05-284)

Iowa State … King was in on two tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage, as the team gave up only 73 rushing yards … Head to Head Competition: OG#

Pittsburgh … The right defensive tackle posted four tackles (2 solos), twice taking down tailback LeSean McCoy behind the line of scrimmage … Head to Head Competition: OG#

Northwestern … Followed with six tackles (5 assists) while also providing one pressure that resulted in QB C.J. Bacher throwing an interception … Head to Head Competition: OG#62-Keegan Kennedy (6:04-305)

Michigan State … Assigned to stay on the "tail" of tailback Javon Ringer, the All-American managed just 91 yards, as King delivered six tackles (5 solos) with an 11-yard sack of QB Brian Hoyer while also taking Ringer down once behind the line of scrimmage … Head to Head Competition: OG#67-Joel Foreman (6:03-299).

Indiana … King made six tackles, as he sacked QB Ben Chappell for a 12-yard loss and twice took down Hoosier tailbacks behind the line of scrimmage, as Iowa allowed just 286 yards in a 45-9 triumph … Head to Head Competition: OG#72-Andrew McDonald (6:05-320).

Wisconsin … King was held to just three tackles, but one of his two pressures resulted in an interception on a toss by QB Dustin Sherer … Head to Head Competition: OG#76-Bill Nagy (6:04-300).

Illinois … Registered a season-high ten tackles (6 solos), as he caught tailback Jason Ford in the backfield twice for losses of 7 yards, causing a fumble that Iowa recovered … The defense gave up only 60 yards rushing … Head to Head Competition: OG#62-Eric Brock (6:03-292).

Penn State … The senior team captain posted two tackles with a pair of pressures and leveled tailback Evan Royster for a stop behind the line of scrimmage … Head to Head Competition: OG#64-Rich Ohrnberger (6:02-291).

Purdue … King dropped QB Curtis Painter for a 12-yard sack and delivered five tackles, as he dragged down tailback Kory Sheets for losses on two second half running plays … Head to Head Competition: OG#54-Jared Zwilling (6:06-308).

Minnesota … Added a pair of sacks, including one that stopped Jay Thomas for a 2-yard loss … Paced a front wall that allowed the Gophers just 7 yards rushing and 134 yards in total offense for a 55-0 Iowa victory … Head to Head Competition: OG#78-Ryan Orton (6:02-312).

South Carolina (Outback Bowl) … Closed out his career on a quiet note, as King made only two solo tackles … Head to Head Competition: OG#77-Jamon Meredith (6:05-301).

2007 Season

All;-Big Ten Conference first-team selection by the league's coaches, earning second-team recognition from the media … Started all twelve games at right defensive tackle, coming up with 58 tackles (25 solos) … Had 4.5 sacks for minus 45 yards, 14.5 stops for losses of 77 yards and registered five quarterback pressures … Caused a fumble and ranked second among Big Ten down linemen with seven pass deflections … Paved the way for a defense that ranked 24th in the nation vs. the rush, allowing 122.0 yards per game.

2007 Game Analysis

The defense allowed just 21 rushing yards and 235 yards in total offense, as King recorded three solo tackles and one assist vs. Northern Illinois, adding three stops for loss of 28 yards, including two sacks for minus 24 yards, along with one pass break-up … In the Syracuse clash, the defense allowed just 24 rushing yards and 103 yards total yards, as the right tackle had four assisted tackles, including one stop for loss … Posted a season- high 10 tackles at Iowa State, including seven solo stops while also adding one pass break-up … In the loss at Wisconsin, he made seven tackles, two stops for losses of 7 yards and one pass deflection … Collected seven tackles vs. Indiana, including one for a 5-yard loss, along with one pass break-up and two QB pressures … Registered seven tackles (4 solos) at Penn State, coming up with two sacks for minus 15 yards, stripping the ball from QB Anthony Morelli on one of those snaps … Made four tackles and assisted on a 6-yard sack vs. Purdue … Delivered four tackles and 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Minnesota … Credited with three stops for loss, two deflected passes and five tackles vs. Western Michigan in the season finale.

2006 Season

King started eleven of the twelve games he played in, coming off the bench vs. Northern Illinois after missing the previous game vs. Michigan with a hamstring strain … Recorded 56 tackles (35 solos) with a career-high seven sacks for minus 35 yards and a team-high fourteen stops for losses of 49 yards … Added three quarterback pressures, two deflected passes and a fumble recovery.

2006 Game Analysis

Recorded eight solo tackles vs. Syracuse, including three tackles for loss and two sacks, as King played a key role in stopping Syracuse on eight straight plays inside the five-yard line in second overtime … Delivered two solo tackles and three assists vs. Iowa State, including 1.5 sacks … Had one solo tackle and one assist vs. Illinois, including a sack and one QB pressure … Posted three solo tackles, four assisted tackles and one pass break-up vs. Ohio State … Returned to action vs. Northern Illinois, as the defense allowed just 196 yards total offense while King produced five solo tackles and one assist, including one stop for loss … Credited with three pressures and three tackles to go with a pass break-up vs. Northwestern … Made eight tackles and 1.5 stops for losses of 3 yards in the Wisconsin game.

2005 Season

First-team Freshman All-American selection by Rivals.com, Scout.com, College Football News and the Football Writers Association of America … Freshman All-Big Ten Conference pick by The Sporting News … The media awards King All-Big Ten honorable mention … Saw action in twelve games, starting eight contests at right defensive tackle, coming off the bench in the first three contests (Ball State, Iowa State and Northern Iowa) and also vs. Wisconsin … Finished with a career-high 60 tackles (37 solos) that included 10.5 stops for losses of 28 yards and two sacks for minus 7 yards … Credited with three pressures and three forced fumbles … Also deflected three passes.

2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2006: Did not see action vs. Indiana (10/14) and Michigan (10/21) due to a hamstring pull.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.89 in the 40-yard dash … 1.66 10-yard dash … 2.85 20-yard dash … 4.40 20-yard shuttle … 7.55 three-cone drill … 33.5-inch vertical jump … 9'4" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.

Combine: 4.83 in the 40-yard dash … 1.66 10-yard dash … 2.81 20-yard dash … 4.58 20-yard shuttle … 7.63 three-cone drill … 33.5-inch vertical jump … 9'1" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times … 31-inch arm length … 10-inch hands.

High School

Attended Burlington (La.) High School, playing football for head coach Ron Glasgow … Earned Class 4A first-team All-State honors from the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association as a senior … Member of Super Prep's All-Region team and was a first-team All-Conference choice as a linebacker and running back in 2003 … Lettered just twice in football, picking up second-team All-Conference defensive honors as a linebacker during his junior campaign … Rushed for 850 yards as a senior and 550 more during his junior season … Also earned a pair of letters in swimming and baseball.


Health and Sport Studies major … Son of Tammy and Lindsey King … Born 5/08/86 … Resides in Burlington, Iowa.

Latest News
04/27/2009 - The Tennessee Titans announced that they have agreed to terms with the following undrafted free-agents: RB Rodney Ferguson - New Mexico, WR Dudley Guice - Northwestern State, CB Jeremy Haynes - McNeese State, DT Mitch King - Iowa, WR Phillip Morris - South Carolina State, QB Alex Mortensen - Arkansas, G Ryan Schmidt - South Florida, P A.J. Trapasso - Ohio State

01/23/2009 - Senior Bowl Practice Stars, Honorable mention: DT Mitch King (Iowa): Only 275 pounds, but scouts love his violent hands and high motor. - Chad Reuter, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com

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