D’Eriq King reveals Patriots’ plans for Miami quarterback after signing

D’Eriq King reveals Patriots’ plans for dual-threat QB after originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots signing a quarterback in an undrafted free agency would seem like a puzzling move considering the team has its franchise QB in Mac Jones and also used a fourth-round pick on Jones’ potential backup, Bailey Zappe.

But the Patriots signing a quarterback like D’Eriq King makes a lot more sense.

The University of Miami product began his college career at wide receiver, catching 58 passes for 492 yards over his first two seasons at Houston in 2016 and 2017. After transferring to Miami in 2020, King passed for 2,686 yards and 26 touchdowns as the Hurricanes’ QB but also added 538 rushing yards and 16 receiving yards on a pair of catches.

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After signing with the Patriots this weekend, King said the Patriots plan to try him out in several different offensive roles to see if he’s a fit.

“I talked to (Patriots director of player personnel) Matt Groh, and he was excited,” King told Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson. “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.”

New England famously took a similar approach in 2009 when they used a seventh-round pick on Julian Edelman, who was a dual-threat quarterback at Kent State. Edelman first made his mark as a return specialist, then developed into one of the most productive wide receivers in franchise history.

King appears to be embracing that “do whatever you can to stand out” mentality, even if that means playing special teams as well.

“I want to do what I can be seen and have the opportunity to make the team,” King said. “I’m going to try to get on special teams, too.”

Expectations aren’t high for King, who played just three games in 2021 due to a shoulder injury that prevented him from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine. But the Patriots do have a track record of finding success with undrafted free agents — Malcolm Butler, JC Jackson, Brandon Bolden and Jakobi Meyers, to name a few — so perhaps he can make an in training camp to land a spot on the 2022 roster.

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