Scouting Report: Jr. CB Jaycee Horn 6’1” 205 (South Carolina)
Unofficial 40 time: 4.39 (espn.com)
Film Review: (2020) Auburn, Ole Miss, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M
Complete corner with a physical and attacking nature and good speed and athleticism. Compact and muscular. Has a real edge to him. Right when I started watching the film, he looked and played the part. Looks like a receiver playing corner. His dad was Saints’ receiver Joe Horn. Great understanding and techniques for the position. Can come up tight in man or play off. Provides support when it is needed versus pass or run. Solid wrapping tackler. Brings it. Auburn really tested him and they paid the price. LSU tended to stay away from him as did all the other teams in the games listed (avoided throwing to the receiver he was covering). This guy is the real deal. Difference maker.
Against the pass can come up tight and really challenge. Tight man press. Strong jam technique. Matches short routes well. Really challenges receivers physically and aggressively (15 passes defended the past two seasons espn.com). Gets right up on them. Tough on shorter routes. Contests. Receivers have to really contend with him to get into their routes. Physical presence. Stayed tight versus Pitts (Florida) up sideline and up the middle. Pitts caught both, but Horn stayed tight and battled. Good athletic ability. Changes directions quickly. Recovers. Has good playing speed. Has outstanding downhill close. Closes hard on slants. Challenging on slants. Horn also has a short-area burst. Tends to be able to get his hand in there and bat the pass away. Play-maker. Very capable of interceptions. Impressive in coverage. Covers like a blanket. Ball hawk. Wants the ball. Wants to pick it and roll. Can match intermediate and deep. Once mistimed jump deep and the ball was caught (Auburn) but was still tight. Has recovery speed. Can chase it down. Good understanding of route leverage on deep passes by the sidelines. Stays inside and plays it close. Tough in the Red Zone. Can get him on a pick play. Also can drop into zone effectively. Tough on 3rd downs.
Horn shows selflessness by coming off coverages and making tackles against receivers who were not his assignment. He also will come up and make solid run stops when needed. Has it in him to do it. He is not always up for the stop in support, but he is more than half of the time. Once in a while takes a bad angle.
South Carolina sent him on four blitz attempts in the five games reviewed. He showed he can close into the pocket quickly when he is sent. He can get there.
Horn is the real deal. He is easily the top corner in the 2021 NFL Draft.
This is a guy who will clamp down hard on receivers. Has a real defensive mentality. Adds a real element and presence to a defense. I can see him competing for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Send the card in.
Where would I draft Jaycee Horn?
Daniel Kelly’s Draft Board: First Round (1-10). This guy is a baller. Players like this are rare. He is everything I want in a corner. Exciting prospect.
If I was a GM, this is the one question I need to have answered in my mind about Jaycee Horn: What drives him?
Probability of being a bust: Very low
1. At times he does not want to provide tackling support (outside of his assignment).
How NFL offenses will beat him: Challenge him deep and pick plays on the right side of the formation inside the Red Zone – worked four times in the for-mentioned film review.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.