“The Jets have a plan, with a GM who’s executing it well, and they have a chance. Finally, long-term, they have a chance.” – King on the Jets’ draft under General Manager Joe Douglas
“I understand why New Orleans did it. It’s a Rams-type move. Maximize your chances today, worry about tomorrow tomorrow.” – King on the Saints trading up to draft WR Chris Olave
“Mathieu is confused, a little angry, that Kansas City never gave him a chance to come back…They never gave him an answer about not giving him an offer to stay, which hurts.” – King on the Chiefs’ offseason departure from Tyrann Mathieu
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 9, 2022 – Peter King recaps the 2022 NFL Draft and speaks with Jets GM Joe Douglas about the team’s promising draft selections in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also analyzes the Saints’ decision to trade up and draft wide receiver Chris Olave, speaks with safety Tyrann Mathieu about signing with New Orleans, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
THE JETS’ DRAFT
King on the Jets’ first four draft picks: “The Jets had [CB Ahmad] Gardner, [WR Garrett] Wilson, [DE Jermaine] Johnson and [RB Breece] Hall rated among their top 19 prospects, so clearly they’re thrilled with the haul. Now they have to produce, and we’ll see.”
King on Jets general manager Joe Douglas’ draft strategy: “I will say the more impressive thing, to me, than the players chosen was the plan GM Joe Douglas executed in the last two years to maximize resources. With the 2020 trade of Jamal Adams to Seattle and 2021 trade of Sam Darnold to Carolina, Douglas turned those picks into three offensive pieces the Jets think will be long-term keystones: left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker – who had a 15-game streak with no sacks allowed as a rookie – plus Wilson and Hall.”
King: “What I especially liked was Douglas moved up for Johnson and Hall, and he was able to keep his 2023 draft intact; he did it all with his 2022 draft picks alone…Add quarterback Zach Wilson, tackle Mekhi Becton and wideout Elijah Moore from the first two Douglas drafts, and tight end C.J. Uzomah in free agency this year, and you’ve got an offense Douglas has built from scratch.”
Douglas to King on drafting Garrett Wilson: “Every single receiver brought something different and dynamic. You had guys that could run by anybody. You had big body guys with unbelievable catch radius. You had guys that were just pure route-runners. Ultimately, we felt like the guy that had the best combination of all those traits was Garrett Wilson, a guy that had the route skills, the ball skills, the catch radius, the ability to attack the ball and make contested catches, the ability to make people miss right after catch, create explosive plays in space, and a guy that had the top-end speed to get behind defenses and threaten vertically. He had the best combination of all the traits we were looking for.”
King on Wilson: “I think a lot also depends on Garrett Wilson being explosive and physical enough to be what Stefon Diggs is for the Bills.”
King on QB Zach Wilson: “Zach Wilson had some nice moments last year – a 28-24, turnover-free loss to Tom Brady and the Bucs sticks out – but not enough to know yet whether he can be a long-term passer for a playoff contender.”
Rich Eisen to King on Zach Wilson: “It’s all on a quarterback who still looks like he’ll be carded at every bar he walks into. We don’t know if he’s the right guy yet.”
ESPN host Mike Greenberg to King on the Jets’ draft: “The Jets stole the draft. An embarrassment of riches.”
King on the Jets’ potential for 2022 and beyond: “The Jets have a plan, with a GM who’s executing it well, and they have a chance. Finally, long-term, they have a chance.”
CHRIS OLAVE & THE SAINTS
King on WR Chris Olave: “Olave, multiple GMs told me, is the most NFL-ready of the receiver group, a precise route-runner, tough and consistently productive, and a sub-4.4 guy…Olave’s ready to contribute opening day, to a team very much in need of a productive wide receiver, particularly after Michael Thomas has had two straight washout seasons”
King on the Saints trading up to draft Olave: “I understand why New Orleans did it. It’s a Rams-type move. Maximize your chances today, worry about tomorrow tomorrow.”
King on the Saints’ mentality heading into the 2022 season: “The Saints are ready to win now, and think they can win now. And why shouldn’t they think that? In four regular-season games against the Tom Brady Bucs, they’re 4-0, with an average victory margin of 16 points.”
King: “I believe some of this is GM Mickey Loomis sending a message to his team post-Brees/Payton. The message: We’re not building for 2025 here. We’re in it to win it now. With a defense ready-made to win now, the acquisition of Olave (and Tyrann Mathieu) says New Orleans thinks it can make a deep run this year. Loomis wants the players to believe it too.”
King on Tyrann Mathieu’s departure from Kansas City: “Mathieu is confused, a little angry, that Kansas City never gave him a chance to come back. He says he got caught in bad timing, with younger players like Orlando Brown getting the cap money that might have been his. They never gave him an answer about not giving him an offer to stay, which hurts.”
Mathieu to King on signing with his hometown Saints: “I have a lot to accomplish on the field and off the field…So now, in my community, I’m gonna be the everyday reminder. You can get better. You can turn your life around. I did. It’s important for me to play great. But it’s as important for me to show these kids you can come back from big mistakes and be better. I’m better. I really want to help these kids in New Orleans.”
Mathieu on the Saints’ coaching staff: “When I came by the Saints building to talk to them, I had a great talk with [defensive coordinator] Kris Richard. What a great teacher. I learned so much…. When I put the uniform on and play in the Superdome for the first time, I will have to take a moment. Honest. It’ll be so special. Just special.”
2022 NFL DRAFT NEWS & NOTES
King on Travon Walker going No. 1 to the Jaguars: “[Walker is] not going to be in shadows anymore when his pro career starts in Jacksonville. And the spotlight will also be on the man who picked him, GM Trent Baalke, over Aidan Hutchinson or some top tackle prospects to protect the franchise quarterback.”
King on the Bears’ draft: “The Bears paid for the drafting of Justin Fields last year by losing the seventh and 112th picks to the Giants this year. He’d better be the guy, or this rebuild will be beyond arduous.”
King on the Panthers drafting QB Matt Corral: “To me, it just continues to show the pressure from the owner to find the next quarterback. If Sam Darnold proves he’s not the guy this year and Corral is shaky in whatever 2022 opportunity he has, Carolina will be back at QB Ground Zero nine months from now – and without a ’23 third-rounder as ammo to move.”
King on the Seahawks’ QB future: “Seattle could have four picks in the top 50 or so next year: their own first- and second-round picks, and Denver’s first- and second-rounders from the Russell Wilson trade. For the first time in recent Seahawk history, they’d be in position to draft one of the top quarterbacks from what is shaping up as a deep pool.”
King on the Chargers’ offseason moves: “By using draft capital to address pass-rush need with Khalil Mack and free-agency capital on the best young corner in the market, J.C. Jackson, the Chargers had two major needs plugged entering the draft. Zion Johnson, the top pick, will fit at guard or (more unlikely) at right tackle. And they got a bigger back, 220-pound Isaiah Spiller…The Chargers are one of the most improved teams in the league.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Mike Golic (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays & is available on-demand. The Dan Patrick Show streams at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s A Good Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.