2. Desmond King
Desmond King was something special, and he was the true definition of a shutdown corner. It’s saying something that teams throw to the receiver you’re covering so little that your draft stock actually drops because you had no production.
Unfortunately for King, that’s exactly what happened when he decided to return for his senior season. After totaling 72 tackles, eight interceptions and 13 passes defensed in a junior season that saw King collect First Team All-Big Ten honors, All-American honors, the 2016 Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year award, the Jack Tatum Defensive Back of the Year award, and the Jim Thorpe Award, his stats dropped off significantly in his final season in Iowa City.
He had just 58 tackles, three interceptions, and seven passes defensed, but again, that was because teams just flat-out refused to throw the ball his way.
The three-year starter was also dynamic as a returner as well averaging 26 yards per kick return and 11 yards per punt return for his career.
King’s contributions to the Iowa football team are truly legendary in my mind, and he was instrumental in the Hawks undefeated season in 2015.
In most college programs, he would be the clear-cut number one defensive back, but the Hawks have one more guy who was even better than King.