The Philadelphia Eagles were involved in a three-team blockbuster trade that completely changed the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft landscape.
After failing to acquire the third overall pick from the Miami Dolphins (via Houston), the Eagles allowed the Dolphins to climb back into the Top-10 by exchanging the 12th overall pick (from San Francisco) for Philly’s sixth pick in the draft.
The Eagles will now make their Day One pick six spots after their original selection.
Updated NFL Draft Order (as of 3/31/21)
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- New York Jets
- San Francisco 49ers (from MIA, via HOU)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Miami Dolphins (via PHI)
- Detroit Lions
- Carolina Panthers
- Denver Broncos
- Dallas Cowboys
- New York Giants
- Philadelphia Eagles (from MIA, via SF)
What does this trade mean?
This move clearly indicates that the Birds are going through a “re-tooling” period in 2021. On the contrary, Philadelphia is in a prime position to head into the 2022 season with up to three first-round picks. The Birds will obviously hold their own pick in 2022 in addition to the first-rounder they just received as a part of the Miami trade. If Carson Wentz plays 75% of regular snaps or 70% of a postseason game with the Indianapolis Colts, the compensated conditional second-round pick will upgrade to a first-round pick.
The move also means that the Eagles are committed to Hurts, at least for the foreseeable future (knock on wood). If the Eagles do not like what they see out of their evaluation of the second season signal-caller, the organization will have enough draft equality to acquire “their guy” at the quarterback position in next year’s draft.
The Eagles still need to hit on their first-round draft pick in about a month, with all things considered. The margin for error has exponentially increased after Philadelphia elected to trade six spots back. The two picks before their selection are by the rival Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, who have similar position needs as the Birds.
Now, let’s take a look at a player that can be the pick for the Birds if they stand pat at pick No. 12
From the University of South Carolina, Jaycee Horn has been regarded as one of (if not the best) cornerbacks in this year’s draft. His bloodlines run deep as he is the son of Joe Horn, a former wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints. We all know the Philadelphia Eagles have lacked a true lockdown presence outside of their defensive line-up for nearly a decade. The Birds desperately need a true cornerback outside to help sure up the defense.
Listed at 6’1, 205 lbs., Horn would instantly come in and start opposite Darius Slay if he becomes a member of the Birds. Press-man coverage is a key characteristic of Horn’s skill set and style of play. Confidence is also a huge part of Horn’s performance on the field. This past season, Horn only allowed nine completions for 130 yards when being targeted a total of 29 times, only giving up 18 yards per contest. Opposing quarterbacks only completed 33% of their passes when targeting Horn, which ranked the lowest amongst SEC standings.
Horn oftentimes was asked to shadow opposing pass-catchers such as Jerry Judy, DeVonta Smith, and Kyle Pitts, amongst others, and spoke about how facing top-flight competition shaped his game.
“It prepared me tremendously playing in the SEC, even no-name guys who are really good and they’ll go to another conference and dominate, so just being in the SEC as a whole has helped me get to the next level, and I’m excited to get there.”
Despite being a physical player, speed is not an issue for Horn. The Georgia native ran a 4.39 40-yard dash during his pro-day.
Horn has one of the best Pro Day’s amongst the cornerback in this year’s draft class and measured very well in each respective metric.
Jaycee Horn's Pro-Day numbers ? pic.twitter.com/vZeSFgm0m8— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) March 24, 2021
“I always worry about myself because I like to say I’m the standard, I want to go out and beat my personal best,” Horn said when interviewed by Jesse Palmer after Pro Day.
“I heard a lot of people questioning my athletic ability, thought I was going to run a 4.5, I surprised people on the vert and the bench, think I had a lot have the best numbers. Turn on the tape; it speaks for itself, and I came out and tested well too, so it was a great day.”
The Philadelphia Eagles were one of the five organizations to attend Horn’s Pro Dowl in South Carolina. Horn stated he had a virtual meeting scheduled with the Eagles after his pro day during a media availability after his workout.
It is no surprise that a player of this caliber is on the Philadelphia Eagles’ radar.
Featured Image: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images