In his most recent mock draft, former Eagles scout and NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah gave the Eagles Patrick Surtain II with the No. 12 pick.
On the most recent edition of Takeoff with John Clark, Jeremiah explained that decision.
“I think they can go in a couple different directions,” Jeremiah said. “Where they moved out of 6 and positioned themselves at 12, I think they’ve in a pretty good spot for the top corner potentially or you’re looking at maybe the top edge rusher. There’s a couple different ways they could go.
“But I would think if Patrick Surtain II is there, you just turn in the card. To me, he’s a high floor, high ceiling guy and you put him opposite of Darius Slay and off you go. He’s just clean. Last year, we’ll see how it works out with Reagor. I think it was a little bit of a risk and so far the returns haven’t been huge. To me, I think maybe putting this one right in the middle of the fairway with somebody like Patrick Surtain II would be a good move.”
This makes a ton of sense to me. Because maybe Surtain is a safe pick but there’s not really a downside to it. It’s not like he has a low ceiling. I think “high floor, high ceiling” is the perfect way to describe him. Does Jaycee Horn’s athleticism give him a slightly higher ceiling? Maybe a little. But Surtain is already so technically sound and with such football intelligence that he’d step in immediately and be a high level starter and it’s not like he lacks athleticism. He could grow into a perennial Pro Bowl type player.
In Jeremiah’s mock draft, the Eagles make Surtain the first cornerback selected and just the second defensive player in the first 12 picks.
If you’re wondering, Jeremiah has Surtain as the highest-ranked cornerback in this year’s draft class, just ahead of Horn from South Carolina. Jeremiah told Clark that Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley is the most talented guy of the three but the back issue was enough to drop him down the list.
“Jaycee Horn is right there,” Jeremiah said. “I have those guys very close to each other. I wouldn’t have any problem with either one of those. To me, I think they’re just outstanding players. And they’ve done it in the SEC against really top-notch competition. They’re complete corners, they can run. To me, it’s splitting hairs. If you go Surtain, some teams might like Jaycee Horn. I don’t think there’s a wrong answer.”
On Jeremiah’s most recent list of top 50 prospects, Surtain comes in at No. 10, while Horn 16 and Farley is 17.
One of the interesting parts of this particular mock draft was the Eagles’ passing on receiver Jaylen Waddle, whom Jeremiah has ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the entire class. He was on the board with the Eagles on the clock at 12 — Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith were gone — but the Eagles still opted for a cornerback.
“Well, Waddle’s my fifth overall player, so he would be my higher rated player,” Jeremiah said. “But I just don’t know if they can afford to keep going back to the well with the skill position guys like that on offense when you look at some of the marquee positions that need to be addressed.”
The whole podcast with Jeremiah is worth the listen. Clark asks him about what the Eagles’ trade back from 6 to 12 tells Jeremiah and they also talk about Russell Wilson, Jeff Lurie’s involvement in the draft and plenty more.