Eight picks into this mock and the first defensive player finally comes off the board. And frankly, this may be early for a defender to go.
Come draft day, it seems like the offensive players will rise, as the top five quarterbacks could go in the first 10 selections. As such, some quality defensive players will be pushed down the board.
But in this scenario, the Panthers finally are able to get their replacement for James Bradberry. They failed to do that last year and while their cornerback play was better than expected, they still need a true No. 1 option to pair with Donte Jackson back there.
Horn would qualify. The physical, 6-foot-1, 205-pound cornerback is one of the best man coverage players in this year’s draft and was one of the best cover corners in college last year. He had two interceptions and 16 tackles on the season, but opposing teams largely avoided throwing his way. He was that good.
After drafting Sam Darnold, the Panthers are probably going to look at either cornerback, wide receiver, or offensive line with this pick. But given how well Horn fits their defense and the type of difference he would make for their stop unit, he should draw consideration here.
Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, Rashawn Slater, and Micah Parsons are the other names to watch here. But if the Panthers want to go with a cornerback, Horn should be the guy.