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D’Eriq King explains hybrid role he’ll play for New England Patriots in 2022

Matt Johnson
D'Eriq King, New England Patriots
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

D’Eriq King became a college football star as a quarterback for the Houston Cougars and Miami Hurricanes. But if the 5-foot-9 quarterback is going to have success in the NFL, it will come in a different role with the New England Patriots.

Throughout the pre-draft process, FNL teams made it clear to King that his future in pro football would not be at quarterback. Instead, coaches viewed him as a potential offensive weapon that could be used in the slot, lined up in the backfield and occasionally deployed as a quarterback near the goal line.

  • D’Eriq King college stats (2016-’21): 8,378 passing yards, 2,055 rushing yards, 520 receiving yards, 112 total touchdowns

Ultimately, King never heard his name called on Day 2 or Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Shortly after the final pick was made, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots.

In an interview with Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, King detailed his conversations with the Patriots and how the team plans to use him.

“I’m excited, it’s good. I was a little nervous because of the unknown, but I was blessed enough to sign with a team like the Patriots. I’m thankful for the opportunity. It was an exciting time. I talked to Matt Groh, and he was excited. I’m thankful for the opportunity. He told me I’ll do a little bit of everything — receiver, quarterback, running back — whatever I can do to stick.”

D’Eriq King on signing with the New England Patriots, via Pro Football Network

King drew interest from multiple teams as a potential slot receiver, including the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, shoulder surgery in October prevented him from throwing at the NFL Combine.

While he wasn’t drafted, King is excited about playing for the Patriots and is pretty confident he’ll be able to transition to his new role with the Patriots.

“Absolutely, definitely motivated to prove my worth. I’m just excited to play football, period. I’m definitely motivated, and you have a chip on your shoulder, whether you get drafted or not. I’ve played quarterback my whole life, but I think I can be a pretty good receiver as well.”

New England Patriots’ D’Eriq King on transitioning to a new position

It’s worth noting that King brings some experience as a receiver. Before emerging as a star quarterback in Houston, the Cougars deployed him at receiver and King hauled in 58 receptions for 492 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

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While there are plenty of questions about how the Patriots offense will look in 2022 following the departure of Josh McDaniels, adding King will make things more interesting.