CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina* (6’1”, 205)

Background:

Father is legendary NFL receiver Joe Horn. Has been a major contributor since his first season with the Gamecocks, finishing with 45 tackles and eight breakups as a freshman, then following that up with a similar year of 40 tackles and nine breakups. Appeared in seven games before opting out this past season, finishing with sixteen tackles, six breakups, and two interceptions.

Positives:

A tall, well-built, and long-limbed prospect who looks the part of a pro boundary cornerback. Comes with three years of high-level experience and it shows. Handled an impressive variety of responsibilities in college. Was asked to play on both sides of the field, both inside and outside, and on both the field side and the boundary side of the defense. Capable of playing press-man, off-man, shuffle, and zone techniques. Physical player who likes to get his hands on opponents. Does a good job of feeling his way through routes and providing pretty tight coverage through the stem, with solid recovery speed to work his way back into position when targeted. Processes route combinations well. Reads the quarterback’s eyes effectively from zone. Interceptions in college were limited, but ball skills look very impressive; does a good job of getting his head around to locate, with impressive technique and timing to break up passes. Capable of climbing the ladder to contest high throws, with excellent leaping ability. Capable of taking on blocks and likes coming up to deliver hits on opposing ballcarriers.

Negatives:

A little bit leggy and could stand to clean up his leverage and footwork at the line of scrimmage a little bit. Wasn’t really asked to backpedal much during the games reviewed. Ran very well during the pre-draft process, but overall speed, agility, and flexibility look closer to solid than elite and may struggle to stick with smaller, quicker receivers at the pro level. Can struggle to navigate congestion. Recorded just two interceptions over the course of his collegiate career. Could be somewhat penalty-prone given stricter pro referees.

Summary:

One of the most consistent defenders in this year’s draft class, combining impressive size, length, physicality, awareness, and ball skills, and capping off the pre-draft process with a very impressive pro day, something which should solidify him as a first-round pick and possibly even the second defensive back or so off the board come draft day. Did a little bit of everything in college and should be able to contribute relatively early; would fit best in a press-man scheme which lets him mix things up with opposing boundary receivers.

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