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Kevin King shows signs of progress despite Packers poor defensive showing

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The rookie cornerback from Washington excelled in his first extended action.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
Kevin King played his best snaps in a Packers uniform against one of the best offenses in football.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Mack Hollins danced into the end zone and gave Green Bay Packers fans deja vu. He caught a short pass across the middle from Carson Wentz, shrugged off several tackles and darted into the end zone.

In the last game we had seen the Packers play prior to the preseason opener this August, Julio Jones made the Green Bay secondary look silly on a similar play in the NFC Championship Game with his combination of size, speed, and strength.

One of the Packers corners who couldn’t make the tackle on Hollins was rookie Kevin King, the 6’3’’ defensive back with freak athleticism and size of his own.

And that was just a harbinger of things to come for King in the preseason, as he struggled to adjust to life in the NFL.

But then something startling happened. With the Packers needing to get stops late against the Seahawks, there was the lanky rookie corner on the field, playing a handful of snaps late to help seal the win.

His hit on Amara Darboh forced the Seattle receiver out of bounds and prevented a completion. When the Packers needed a stop late, he was on the field.

And when they couldn’t cover Julio Jones (again), there was King.

On Sunday night, Matt Ryan was 0/4 when targeting King in 32 coverage snaps, including a pair of pass breakups against that Julio Jones guy. In contrast, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins gave up 10 catches on 11 targets for 148 yards according to Pro Football Focus.

When training camp opened, Joe Whitt and Dom Capers sent King out with the starters, a vote of confidence or perhaps an admission of inadequacy.

King didn’t reward that move in the preseason, but his talent has been apparent through two games for the Packers.

It may not be long before he’s back running with the 1’s.