The Eagles got much needed receiver help at #12, picking Jaylen Waddle from Alabama. The Chargers are now on the clock and are focused on protecting Justin Herbert.
The Eagles were able to upgrade their dreadful receiver room with Jaylen Waddle, the second half of Alabama’s dangerous duo. Waddle got off to a blazing start in 2020 before going down with an injury and should be able to pick up where he left off. He will reunite with Jalen Hurts as the two look to give a boost to the Eagles’ passing game.
Next on the clock is the Chargers. LA struck gold in free agency as they signed Corey Linsley, giving them another Packers veteran to go along with Bryan Bulaga on the line. While they signed a few OL in free agency, they’ll certainly be on the lookout for premium talent at both guard and tackle. While their defensive backfield was once a young, star-filled unit, they could look for help at CB after Casey Hayward was a cap casualty this offseason. An elite CB prospect to pair with Michael Davis on the outside and Derwin James on the back end could help this unit return to elite status sooner than later.
Let’s recap the first 12 picks so far:
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
- New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
- San Francisco 49ers – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
- Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
- Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
- Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
- Detroit Lions – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
- Carolina Panthers – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
- Denver Broncos – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
- Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama
- New York Giants – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
- Philadelphia Eagles – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Now let’s take a look at the Chargers’ options at 13.
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
A 3 year starter at Virginia Tech, Darrisaw comes into the draft having missed only one game in his college career. Darrisaw possesses fantastic body control that allows him to make every block on the field. He earned a 95.6 overall grade from PFF last season, along with first team All ACC Honors. While he can lose focus in finishing his blocks, at 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, his combination of size, speed, and strength gives him a high-ceiling. He should be a day 1 starter at LT.
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Another son of a former NFL player, Jaycee’s dad, Joe Horn, was a 4-time Pro Bowl receiver for the Saints. Jaycee is another big (6-foot-1, 205), physical corner who faced a murderer’s row of receivers during his three years in the SEC. Horn can be a bit aggressive with his hands, but he posted the best RAS of any corner in this year’s class (9.99, though he skipped agility drills). Expect him to be off the board early as his instincts and athleticism will have teams excited about him.
Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
One of the more versatile linemen in the 2021 draft class is Vera-Tucker, who was an All-Pac 12 performer at left guard in 2019 and at left tackle in 2020. He might project best on the inside in the NFL, but he won the award as the conference’s best offensive lineman this past year while protecting the blind side. His testing at USC’s Pro Day is indicative of a player who moves well and would work well as a pulling guard in the run game.
With the 13th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select…
While Justin Herbert was only sacked 32 times last year, he saw pressure on 33.5% of his dropbacks, a number that has to come down. Two of their tackles from 2020, Sam Tevi and Trey Pipkins, ranked outside the top 70 at the position according to PFF. Their line ranked 32nd in PFF’s final 2020 offensive line rankings, so it is imperative that they keep allocating resources to that area. However, new head coach Brandon Staley could be tempted to shore up the defense by selecting Jaycee Horn. Staley has mentioned man-to-man as the first thing he evaluates in a corner, and this is Horn’s best trait.
Be sure to vote here and on Twitter @acmepackingco and come back at 4 PM EST to see who the Vikings will consider with their 14th pick.