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Penn State CB Kalen King Tabbed as Potential Steelers 2024 Draft Target

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Kalen King scores a touchdown after an interception

The Pittsburgh Steelers may continue revamping their secondary during the 2024 offseason, potentially adding another Penn State cornerback in Kalen King, according to a prediction by Bleacher Report.

After Thursday’s release of Akhello Witherspoon, the previous release of Art Maulet and contract years coming up for James Pierre, Chandon Sullivan and Levi Wallace, the Steelers will likely look to add depth in the secondary once again in the 2024 NFL Draft.

According to Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report, King could be a target for the Steelers in the 2024 Draft. 

With this pick, the Steelers would continue the trend of drafting talented cornerbacks from Penn State after taking Joey Porter Jr. with the 32nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. 

“A strong secondary is one of the keys for Pittsburgh to reclaim the divisional crown, and if Witherspoon and Wallace move on in free agency, it will need to look at someone like King in the first round,” Tansey wrote.

King, a junior from Detroit, is 5-foot-11, 190 pounds and has been rated as one of the top cornerbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft class. In a recent mock draft by ESPN’s Todd McShay, King was the second corner taken off the board, coming off in the 16th spot. 

In his first full season as a starter, King blossomed into one of Penn State’s best players. Playing opposite Porter, the two formed one of college football’s best cornerback duos. 

King ended the season with three interceptions, one behind future San Francisco 49er Ji’Ayir Brown for the team lead. Looking at more advanced numbers, King had a 90.6 coverage grade, according to ProFootballFocus. King also broke up nine passes per PFF and had a low 48.9 passer rating against him.

“Whereas Joey Porter Jr. is long and physical, King is more fluid and an easy mover,” McShay wrote. “His movements appear effortless. And King is a pure cover man, breaking up 15 passes (tied for fifth in the FBS) and picking off three more last season.”

In King’s junior season this past year, he amassed 30 tackles, three interceptions, and one forced fumble. According to PFF, this sort of production would be welcome on a Steelers secondary that has ranked as low as 28th in football.

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