5. D’Eriq King, QB, Miami (FL)
Following the trend of transfer quarterback to first-round selection, our final 2021 NFL Draft prospect to keep an eye on is new Miami Hurricane, D’Eriq King. The undersized 5-11, dual-threat transfer from Houston hardly looks the part of an NFL quarterback, but after Kyler Murray‘s 2018 breakout Heisman campaign, King could become the next to make the jump.
As an ESPN top 300 recruit in high school, King committed to Tom Herman’s Houston program and became an eventual starter under Major Applewhite after Herman’s departure to Texas. As a full year starter in 2018, King threw for over 2,900 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for an additional 674 yards and 14 touchdowns. King’s 2018 season compared favorably to Murray’s, where King led the nation in points responsible per game at 27.5, exceeding the Heisman winner’s 23.5.
After a disappointing 1-3 start under new coach Dana Holgorsen last fall, King redshirted under the NCAA’s newly adopted four-game redshirt rule. With plenty of big-name suitors looking at King, the Texas native opted out of his final year at Houston and transferred to Manny Diaz’s Miami program. Despite the failed transfer of Ohio State dual-threat Tate Martell, the prior season, King looks poised to be a dark horse candidate in a Miami team looking to make a jump in the ACC.
Miami will make the move to a more spread offense this fall under new coordinator Rhett Lashlee who joins Diaz’s staff after calling the offense at SMU. Unlike Martell, King brings experience as one of the nation’s most dynamic players and should slot in perfectly to an offense in transition. If the Hurricanes can get off to a hot start with Lashlee and King, Miami could become the ACC’s second strongest team behind Clemson.
The Hurricanes will have both the playmakers and tailor-made offense for King this fall. Lashlee’s offense can hit if off this fall, D’Eriq King could pick up some Heisman attention along the way. That could be telling of the 2021 NFL Draft based on what we have seen in recent years.