Green Bay Packers Kalen King Motivated By Draft Day Slide

Kalen King, Green Bay Packers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A major focus of the Green Bay Packers during the 2024 NFL Draft was on their secondary. Coming into the offseason, the team had a major hole at safety and they addressed it in a big way.

In free agency, the team signed Xavier McKinney away from the New York Giants. In the 2024 NFL Draft, they used three selections on safeties; Javon Bullard, Evan Williams and Kitan Oladapo.

Somewhat surprisingly, the team didn’t address the cornerback position much this offseason. No one was signed, to this point, in free agency and they waited until the seventh round to select a player at the position.

With their final pick of the draft, No. 255, the Packers selected Penn State cornerback Kalen King. It was a shocking slide, as King was projected by many evaluators to be in the mix as a first-round pick heading into the 2023 season.

Alas, his production this past season fell off compared to what he was doing in 2022. He allowed completions at a higher rate and his ball skills took a step back. Running a 4.61 40-yard dash certainly didn’t help his stock, either.

“I mean, I feel like the way I approach the game is always the same,” said Kalen King about his play in 2023. “I put in the work and I know what I’m capable of. Just because I got picked towards the end of the seventh round this year doesn’t mean that’s the player I am. That’s just where I was slotted to be. Going to go into the NFL, my career really starts now.

“Anything before this point, I feel like doesn’t matter anymore. With me having this opportunity with the Green Bay Packers, I feel like nothing happened last year. Everything is happening exactly how it’s supposed to. To answer your question, I feel like everything happens for a reason and I feel like I’m in the right place now.”

The Packers certainly would seem to have gotten some excellent value by selecting King in the seventh round. A player who was rated that highly just a year ago has some talent and upside to work with; they just need to bring it out of him.

Green Bay found success doing that with Carrington Valentine, a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. They are hoping to do it again with King, who is highly motivated heading into the offseason workout program.

“It’s extremely motivating,” said Kalen King about being taken in the seventh round. “Not going where you thought you would go, seeing all the names being picked ahead of you, just enduring all that, seeing that and I felt like it put a chip on my shoulder, a permanent chip on my shoulder that I gotta keep there.

“I felt like the Packers are going to get one of the most competitive guys in the country, a tough corner, physical corner who’s going to give 100% effort around the field at all times and make as many plays as I possibly can by doing it at 100%.”

That is all a team can ask for from a rookie looking to make a name for himself. That chip on King’s shoulder is something that will motivate him throughout his NFL career.

As we saw with Valentine last year, if you play well, the coaching staff will find a spot for you. Kalen King has to make his presence known, as there is an avenue to playing time, or at least a spot on the roster, at cornerback.

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