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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: CB Jaycee Horn

  • The Draft Network
  • December 19, 2020
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PROSPECT SUMMARY

The son of four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn, South Carolina Gamecocks cornerback Jaycee Horn enters the NFL after three seasons in the SEC where he demonstrated consistent growth. After primarily playing in the slot in 2018, Horn played out wide in 2019 and 2020 where he projects best in the NFL. Horn has a long and stocky frame that is built for competing with X-receivers in the NFL. His size, length, and physicality show up in coverage where he is highly disruptive in press and ultra competitive at the catch point. The concerns with Horn show up primarily as a tackler and playing off-man coverage. Unfortunately, Horn doesn’t play to his weight class as a tackler and there are too many missed tackles on film. Additionally, Horn can be guilty of guessing when mirroring routes, leading to false steps, which is problematic given how segmented his transitions can be in the first place. If used correctly and with development, Horn can be a quality starter, especially if his ball skills continue to progress as they did in 2020. 

Ideal Role: Starting outside corner

Scheme Fit: Predominantly zone and press coverage with minimal deployment of off-man coverage.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: Alabama (2019), Florida (2019), Texas A&M (2019), Georgia (2019), Florida (2020), Auburn (2020), Ole Miss (2020)  

Best Game Studied: Auburn (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Alabama (2019) 

Man Coverage Skills: Horn has his best moments in man coverage when he’s able to be disruptive at the line of scrimmage and use his physicality to leverage the route. He’s aggressive and willing to crowd receivers but he isn’t a natural pattern-matcher that anticipates breaks with consistency. He has a tendency to get extremely grabby as routes elongate. 

Zone Coverage Skills: Horn is a very good zone coverage corner that does well to stay leveraged, cue the backfield, and work into throwing lanes. Playing Horn in zone limits some of his restrictions in terms of footspeed and fluidity and takes advantage of his length and aggressiveness to drive on routes, which are some of his best qualities. 

Ball Skills: Horn’s ball skills flashed in 2020 where he secured the only two interceptions of his career, both coming against Auburn in what was arguably the best performance of his career.  Otherwise, his ball production has been modest—but Horn doesn’t panic when the ball is in the air and he competes to disrupt at the catch point. There are some high-level flashes of him finding the football in the air and showcasing his ability to feel the receiver with his eyes on the football. 

Tackling: For as physical and aggressive as Horn is in coverage, those qualities do not show up with consistency as a tackler. While it was a bigger issue in 2019, there are too many missed tackles on Horn’s tape with plenty of reps that reveal a lack of enthusiasm to step up and finish. Horn has the size and length to be an effective tackler, he just needs to embrace the responsibility and execute. 

Versatility: Horn played primarily from the slot in 2018 before playing primarily from out wide in 2019 and 2020. Horn can execute any coverage technique, but is at his best in zone and press coverage and isn’t an ideal fit for significant off-man coverage reps. Horn has modest experience on special teams. 

Competitive Toughness: Horn’s play in coverage reveals an elite competitor that is an alpha. He is scrappy during reps and chirpy in between. Unfortunately, his reps in run support and as a tackler are often played below his weight class, which creates some disappointment when evaluating his competitive toughness. 

Functional Athleticism: Horn is a sufficient athlete but his play speed doesn’t appear to be overly dynamic. His footwork in transitions can be in segments and there is some tightness in his hips that are revealed when changing directions. Horn has a tendency to play tall and without enough leverage. Horn’s long speed is sufficient but quick twitch ability seems to be missing. 

Football IQ: Whether it’s not panicking with the ball in the air while making good adjustments and still feeling the receiver or his zone awareness, there are some components of the game that come naturally to Horn. With that said, he is guilty of guessing in man coverage and committing false steps that lead to separation for the receiver. The amount of grabbing Horn does as routes elongate indicates a lack of route anticipation skills. 

Run Defending: Horn appears to be a sufficient run defender but the disappointment comes when it’s time to make a tackle. Horn understands his run fits but lacks enthusiasm and technique as a finisher. This will be a major concern if he goes to a zone heavy defense, which he translates well to from a coverage standpoint. 

Length: Horn has very good length and he knows how to use it. He blends long arms with good power in his hands and hand technique to find success in press coverage. His length also shows up at the catch point where it increases his margin for error making plays on the football. 

Prospect Comparison: Michael Davis (2017 NFL Draft, Los Angeles Chargers) 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 84.63 / 100

Joe Marino: 85.50/100

Jordan Reid: 86.00/100

Drae Harris: 82.00/100

Kyle Crabbs: 85.00/100

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