NFL DRAFT WEEK IS HERE!
And so is Peter King’s annual one and only mock draft. It’s always interesting to read about what King is hearing and how that influences his picks.
Here’s who the longtime NFL reporter has the Philadelphia Eagles taking at No. 12 overall:
12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami, via San Francisco)—Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
I think when the Eagles moved from 6 to 12 on March 29 in the trade with Miami, they hoped for three things: their choice of a top receiver, Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater, and one of the top two corners in the draft. By this mock, they’re all there. Nothing would surprise me—include a shallow trade-down, say, to New England at 15 if the Patriots are smitten with DeVonta Smith. Horn is my pick here because corner’s a significant need; the Eagles’ best (and priciest) corner, Darius Slay, gave up 77-percent completions last year, per Pro Football Focus, and there’s no other long-term solutions, at least not one who has played to that level, on the roster now. Horn’s a three-year starter in a throwing league, and the book on him is he’s uber-competitive and feisty. Sounds like a Philly guy already.
Oof. As a card-carrying member of the DeVonta Smith fan club, tough to see King having the Eagles pass on him here and going to the New England Patriots at No. 15 instead.
It’s not that I’m necessarily anti-Horn. I do like some of the appeal that King touches on (Big Winner Energy). But there are few things I just don’t love about this pick, even aside from passing on Smith:
- The Eagles’ only two offensive offseason acquisitions were 1) overpaying Joe Flacco and 2) re-re-signing Jordan Howard for the minimum. Bummer to have to wait to seriously address the most important side of the ball until pick No. 37 (barring a trade up) at the earliest.
- Is Horn really a fit for what the Eagles are going to do on defense? Jonathan Gannon’s background suggests Philly’s corners will be playing a lot of zone. Horn is known for being at his best in press-man coverage.
- Horn had two interceptions in 30 college games. Two. Picks aren’t everything ... but one might like to see a little more ball production. He did have 23 passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
I think there’s a scenario where Horn could be the best player on the board for the Eagles but it’s not this one.
Grade Peter King’s mock draft pick for the Eagles
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Other observations from the mock:
- Ja’Marr Chase goes off the board at No. 5.
- Jaylen Waddle is the pick at No. 6. There’s been buzz that the Eagles like him.
- Justin Fields falls to No. 8. Are you going to lament the Eagles’ trade down if he ends up being available where the Eagles were originally picking?
- Patrick Surtain II to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 10. Making Horn CB2 in this draft.
- Micah Parsons to the New York Giants at No. 11 is something that I’ve heard is in the cards.