“I didn’t hear anyone, in calls Friday through Sunday, who thinks the first pick won’t be Bryce Young.” – King on the Panthers’ No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft
“I think the game of the NFL is really fit for his skill set, maybe to some degree a little better than college quite frankly.” – Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian on RB Bijan Robinson
“Stroud’s the best pure pocket passer in the draft…He’s as good as I’ve seen at making all the throws since Joe Burrow.” – NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms on Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 17, 2023 – Peter King previews the upcoming NFL Draft, which begins next Thursday, in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses Jalen Carter’s draft stock, Bijan Robinson’s potential to be a first round pick, and speaks to NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms and ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky about their top five quarterbacks in the draft.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
King on the potential of Bryce Young being the No. 1 overall pick to Carolina: “I didn’t hear anyone, in calls Friday through Sunday, who thinks the first pick won’t be Bryce Young. He may not be. I’m just telling you what’s out there.”
King on Texas Tech OLB Tyree Wilson’s rising draft stock: “I will not be surprised if, in the Edge category, Tyree Wilson is picked ahead of (Alabama’s) Will Anderson. I particularly will not be surprised if Houston — whether at two or through a trade-down if the Texans don’t take a quarterback — takes Wilson over Anderson.”
King on the Texans’ draft plans at No. 2: “I hear the Houston’s souring on Stroud stuff, and I just can’t believe the Texans wouldn’t take a quarterback high in this draft…there’s certainly enough potential in C.J. Stroud — should he be there for Houston at two — for the Texans’ coaches to make a good NFL QB out of him.”
King on Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud’s draft potential: “This might sound crazy, but I’m not sure how many teams will be aggressive in trying to move up for C.J. Stroud if Bryce Young goes first to Carolina.”
King on Georgia DT Jalen Carter’s draft prospects: “Best rumor of the week: Steelers trading up from 17 to nine if Carter’s there. There could not be a more perfect coach for Carter than Mike Tomlin.”
King on Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba: “The Ohio State football season was five months long last year, including practice, and Smith-Njigba got a left hamstring injury early, and he played 60 snaps total in three games, and never got on the field in the last 10 weeks. He runs a 4.48 40. I’m not the only one wondering: How is Jaxon Smith-Njigba the top-rated receiver on so many boards with 10 days to go?”
King on the Bills potentially drafting a WR in the first round: “I think it’s interesting that the Bills actually might take a receiver late in the first round…taking one would be an acknowledgement that GM Brandon Beane is a little worried about his two-man core (of Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis), and perhaps rightfully so.”
CHRIS SIMMS & DAN ORLOVSKY’S TOP FIVE QB RANKINGS
Simms: 1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, 2. Bryce Young, Alabama, 3. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee, 4. Anthony Richardson, Florida, 5. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA, & Will Levis, Kentucky
Orlovsky: 1. Bryce Young, Alabama, 2. Anthony Richardson, Florida, 3. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, 4. Will Levis, Kentucky, 5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
Simms to King on Stroud: “To me, Stroud was the offense at Ohio State. Bryce Young ran the offense at Alabama. Stroud’s the best pure pocket passer in the draft…He’s as good as I’ve seen at making all the throws since Joe Burrow.”
Orlovsky on Young: “I think he’s got a feel for football like Steph Curry’s got for basketball…Bryce’s size does nothing to impact his ability to play.”
Simms on Richardson: “I hear some people say, ‘He needs to sit a year.’ It’s the exact opposite. This is Trey Lance. He’s gotta play; he hasn’t played enough. You gotta start him right away if you draft him.”
Simms on Thompson-Robinson: “Dorian Thompson-Robinson might be the most underrated prospect in the entire draft. Bigger than Bryce Young, better arm than Bryce Young. A little frail, but I think he’s ready to play right now.”
TEXAS RB BIJAN ROBINSON
King on the debate if RB Bijan Robinson should be a first-round pick: “If you only had Robinson for five years — four years plus exercising the fifth-year option as a first-round pick — and he played behind the kind of offensive line in, say, Philadelphia, are you telling me he wouldn’t be worth the pick?”
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian on if Robinson is an exception to the rule about not drafting running backs in the first round: “I definitely think he is. Bijan is not your typical first- or second-down back. He’s not your typical third-down back. He is an every-down back who can run between the tackles.”
Sarkisian: “He can catch the ball like a receiver. I think the game of the NFL is really fit for his skill set, maybe to some degree a little better than college quite frankly.”
NEWS & NOTES
Sarkisian on Texas QB Arch Manning: “He just finished his 13th practice of spring ball today. Doing great. Really wants to be good. Very humble. That’s what it’s been like the whole time.”
Sarkisian: “He called me randomly one morning about 9 and said he was coming. And then he said, ‘I gotta go to my math tutor now, and then I’m gonna announce it on Twitter at 11 o’clock.’ All these guys doing press conferences, that’s just not him.”
King on the potential sale of the Washington Commanders: “‘Seems like we’re at the two-yard-line going in,’ said one source with knowledge of the prospective sale over the weekend, ‘but with Dan (Snyder), it’s never over till it’s over.’”
King on Jeff Bezos buying an NFL team: “Under the terms of the Seahawks’ current ownership agreement, if the team is sold before May 2, 2024, 10 percent of the sale price would go to the state of Washington. Current owner Jody Allen, sister of late owner Paul Allen, would face handing over, say, $700 million if the team was sold for $7 billion, which is in the ballpark of the next NFL team sale, if she sells in the next 13 months. Why would she do that? She wouldn’t. The NFL is lobbying Bezos quietly, but hard, to buy a franchise…Why would Bezos not want Seattle if he’s serious about buying into the league that prints money?”
Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.
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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.