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Akeem King's trial by fire is approaching

The second year Falcons cornerback is going to get a dream opportunity. Will he sink or swim?

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons mothership has written about Akeem King a couple of times over the last week, wondering if he could carve out a larger role and talking up his readiness should he get one. While both were worthy articles, we do need to remember two things with King.

  1. He looked better than he had any right to as a seventh round pick last year, which bodes well for 2016;
  2. He is going to have a larger role than the coaching staff would've hoped for heading into the season, thanks to Jalen Collins' four game suspension.
I am an avowed fan of King...as a top reserve. He may surprise us all and develop into a worthy starter, but he didn't look quite ready to take on a full-time role last year, and I doubt he will be now. With Collins out for four games, though, King will be penciled as the man playing outside in nickel sets, when Robert Alford kicks inside. He's going to have his good games and his bad games in that role, but the important thing for King's development is that it's a true trial by fire.

This is a rare opportunity for a player like King, a seventh round pick drafted as an obvious reserve (or at best, developmental project) by Dan Quinn and his new regime a year ago. Wth four games to prove himself as as starter, he could position himself to take on a significant role if/when the team parts ways with Alford, a free agent after the 2016 season. If King wants to open eyes and prove that he can be a quality NFL player, this is probably the best opportunity he's ever going to have. I sincerely hope he takes advantage.

How do you think King will fare?