Ex-Valley/OL star Mitchell King invited to Packers' mini-camp

Mitchell King is about to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and, like many college seniors, has been wondering what to do going forward.

“About a couple of months (after the season), it clicked that I needed to give (the NFL) a shot,” said King, a tight end and former Valley Regional/Old Lyme football star. “I went to the Baltimore regional combine, put up some good numbers and caught people’s eyes. Scouts started calling.

“Honestly, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue, but I didn’t really see that as an option until after the first combine.”

King, of Essex, went undrafted over the weekend, but the Green Bay Packers have invited him to attend their three-day rookie mini-camp which begins Thursday.

“I was getting nervous (after the draft) as I hadn’t gotten a call (from any teams),” King said. “Then the Packers and offered me a shot at their mini-camp. That was a huge relief. … I was freaking out a little bit.”

King (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) knew that his chances of being drafted were slim based on where he played and his statistics — he had 14 career receptions for 174 yards and five touchdowns. The 2014 team co-captain spent the majority of his career blocking.

“That’s the number one thing I get asked about my college career,” he said. “I captained the team and was used in the offense. … but we were an inside zone run team.

“I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t wish to be utilized more because I thought I’d be useful.”

King caught the attention of scouts after attending the Baltimore regional. He was invited to NFL’s Super Regional Combine in Tempe, Arizona, in late March.

King’s measurables would’ve ranked in the top five in several categories among those who were invited to February's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He ran a 4.7 40-yard dash, finished the 20-yard shuttle in 4.41 seconds, did 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, and had a 34.5 vertical leap.

Green Bay projects King as a “Y” tight end, which requires a player to be a good blocker up front more than a “F” tight end, which is utilized more in the passing game.

“I had a few touchdowns in my career, but I never really got a chance to showcase what I could do in the open field,” King said.

“One of the guys they drafted (sixth round pick Kennard Backman from Alabama-Birmingham) might fit more of the H-back role. The Packers want to fill the “Y”. … I’m just happy to have a shot.”

Valley /Old Lyme head coach Tim King might be as happy as Mitchell King because he’s a diehard Packers fan.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Tim King said. “When he told me, I started laughing. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, of all the teams.’

“I told him to make sure you get me pictures of everything. … I’m thrilled for him.”

n.griffen@theday.com

Twitter: @MetalNED

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