When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took to the podium to announce the Carolina Panthers’ first-round pick last Thursday, many expected the name “Justin Fields” to come out of his mouth. Except it did not.
As we now know, the name was Jaycee Horn, the outstanding corner kicker from the University of South Carolina. But what we did not know, at least until today, was why the Panthers sent the talented Fields on with their obvious need for quarterback.
Well, head coach Matt Rhule jumped on The Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday to explain why it was Horn and not Fields (or even Mac Jones) who was worth the eighth overall pick of the 2021 draft.
Rhules’ two-for-one theory is amazing. . . as long as Sam Darnold does not quite stink the joint, as he did in New York. It also helps if Fields does not become an absolute superstar for the Chicago Bears, who traded up to the 11th slot to grab him, and if Horn develops into the freakish, shutdown corner Rhule and general manager Scott Fitterer drafted him to be .
Time will tell. Until then, the pressure was on – for Rhule, Fitterer, Horn and maybe especially Darnold.