Ike Taylor has a couple ideas for Day 2 cornerbacks for Philadelphia Eagles in ‘deep as heck’ draft
PHILADELPHIA — Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor thought Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey was the best corner in this year’s NFL draft, and he advocated for the Philadelphia Eagles to take him if he was available at No. 14.
The Eagles didn’t — they opted for Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett with their first pick in the draft — and Humphrey went to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 16.
But the need for a cornerback in Philadelphia remains — along with some other needs on the offensive side of the ball — and Taylor, now an NFL Network analyst, identified a couple sleepers and values who could be solid Day 2 picks when the Eagles pick No. 43 overall in the second round and No. 99 overall in the third round.
“This draft is deep as heck when it comes down to the corners,” Taylor said Wednesday afternoon at luncheon on the 27th floor of the Center City Sheraton.
Washington’s Sidney Jones and Kevin King and San Diego State’s Damontae Kazee are three cornerbacks who Taylor thinks highly of that could make an impact for the Eagles.
Jones went down with a torn Achilles’ during his pro day last month, but he expects to play this fall. The injury had a distinct impact on his draft stock, as he was initially forecasted to be a first-round pick. The first 32 picks came and went without Jones hearing his name called. But Taylor thinks highly of him.
“If Sidney Jones didn’t tear his Achilles’, hands down he was the best I thought of the group,” he said. “Complete total package.”
Jones has the size to be an NFL corner at 6 feet, and he’s been compared to Kansas City Chiefs cornerback and interception maven Marcus Peters in the pre-draft process.
His teammate, Kevin King, could be another solid option. King has great size at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, and he combined that with a 4.43 40-yard dash and nearly 40 inches in the vertical jump. He has the strength to place press coverage, which is a plus for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Pro Football Focus compared him to Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman.
“If Sidney didn’t get hurt, we really wouldn’t be talking about Kevin,” Taylor said. “But if you watch tape of Kevin, Kevin is good.”
Taylor’s final corner to watch on Day 2 is an under-the-radar player in San Diego State cornerback Damontae Kazee. Kazee is small at 5-foot-10, but he was a solid tackler and finished second in the nation with seven interceptions last season. Opposing wide receivers didn’t have much production against him either.
Despite the size, he reminds Taylor of another corner who had some success in Philadelphia.
“Damontae Kazee at the cornerback position is my sleeper because he’s a mighty mouse, to me,” Taylor said. “We look at his size and we say he’s not the prototypical corner. But hell, Philly should know best. Asante Samuel was short in stature, but made plays all day. Didn’t mind hitting anybody. Damontae Kazee, to me, is the same way at San Diego State.”
There’s a chance Jones, King and Kazee won’t make it to No. 43 or No. 99 Friday, but there’s also a chance that all three will be there. What is sure, though, is that Philadelphia needs to address the cornerback position. And Ike Taylor knows that help is out there.