Packers rookie Kalen King responds to Jayden Reed's comments defending him

Kalen King
Kalen King / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

It's going to be so easy to root for new Green Bay Packers cornerback Kalen King.

King's path to the NFL didn't go as expected. He was at one point viewed as a future first-rounder who could be the best cornerback in the class. But after a disappointing 2023 season, King fell all the way to the seventh round, where the Packers selected him with their final pick.

King was emotional in his introductory Packers interview, describing his fall to the seventh round as "one of the toughest things I've had to endure in my life." But he plans to use it as extra motivation, saying it put a "permanent chip on my shoulder."

Just by listening to King, it's clear how much it means to him and that he is determined to succeed.

Packers wide receiver Jayden Reed came to King's defense after watching him fall to the seventh round.

"Bro ain't no 7th rounder," Reed tweeted after the Packers selected King.

Reed then shared a conversation he had with King on Instagram from January, where he told King the Packers were going to get him this offseason. Reed's prediction came true. Along with Reed's comments, King also received support from New York Jets All-Pro cornerback Sauce Gardner, who was also surprised to see him fall to late on Day 3 of the draft.

Packers' Kalen King has perfect response to Jayden Reed

Speaking to reporters on Day 1 of rookie minicamp, King was asked about the supportive comments from Reed and Gardner.

"It meant a lot," said King. "Those are two guys I competed with and against throughout my career playing football. Me and Jayden Reed, we played each other twice, two years ago and three years ago. We've always been going at it when he was at Michigan State. He was a real good player there."

"Just having the opportunity to compete with those guys, I feel like they know the type of player that I am and they know what to expect from me. Those are definitely encouraging words."

It was only last summer that King was projected to go in the first round in early 2024 mock drafts. He was coming off a season with 18 pass defenses and three interceptions at Penn State.

RELATED: Why Kalen King can be the steal of the entire 2024 NFL Draft

Even after a tough 2023 season, Reed believed King would soon be joining him in Green Bay.

"Yeah, that's crazy," said King. "I remember, he had dropped a highlight video and I commented on it. And he said something about, 'We gonna get you, watch.' And I was like, 'Tell them to come and get me.' It's crazy how that unfolded and happened. I feel like everything happens for a reason. I'm glad to be here."

And the Packers should be glad to have King. While last season didn't go to plan, he has put outstanding play on tape. He proved he can play at a first-round level. If Jeff Hafley and the coaching staff can help King get back to that level of play, the Packers will have found the steal of the draft.

King will quickly become a fan favorite in Green Bay. He is easy to root for and is determined to prove the rest of the league wrong.

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