If a prospect is described as aggressive, athletic, and has ideal size, most of the questions about their ability to succeed in the NFL are answered. That’s how NBC Sports’ Phil Perry described South Carolina cornerback, and potential New England Patriots draft pick Jaycee Horn.
Perry ran a poll on his Twitter account asking Patriots fans who they would prefer the team to take with the No. 15 pick in the first round, assuming Bill Belichick and co. don’t trade up, and all of the top QBs are gone.
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Horn beat out Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, Alabama DT Christian Barmore, and Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye in a landslide.
Fifty-four percent of the voters chose Horn. Here is a look at the tweet; As you can see, after the results went final and before Perry moved on the Patriots’ second-round pick with a new poll, he used paid Horn the three-adjective compliment.
Aggression. Athleticism. Size. You know what you want at corner in Bill Belichick’s man-to-man scheme.
Jaycee Horn is YOUR guy. In a landslide.
Now you’re on the clock at No. 46 overall. Would you rather…
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) April 15, 2021
Do the Patriots Need a CB?
It’s still possible, and some might say likely the Patriots will use their No. 15 pick to trade up for a quarterback. However, it’s also very feasible the team could use that selection to address one of their weaknesses.
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The cornerback position could be seen as a weakness, depending on if you believe the Patriots will trade Stephon Gilmore or keep him. Without Gilmore, the Patriots’ defense would need a top-flight corner to pair with J.C. Jackson.
Horn would be one of the players who fit that mold. In addition to Alabama’s Patrick Surtain Jr. and Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley, Horn projects to be one of the first corners taken, which means there is a question as to whether he’d even be available at No. 15.
Horn, whose father is former Pro-Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn, has all of the physical attributes Perry mentioned. Still, he also possesses the kind of unshakeable confidence required to be a shutdown corner in the NFL.
If he hits his ceiling, he’s the type of player that can change a defense and that offenses have to account for in their scouting reports.
Trading Back is Something to Watch For With the Patriots
For all the talk about the Patriots trading up to get a quarterback, fans should also be prepared for them to move back in the first round.
The Patriots have moved back in the draft several times during their history, most recently in 2020 when they dealt their first-rounder and moved back into the second round where they selected Kyle Dugger.
If there is no one available, the Patriots have rated highly at No. 15, don’t be surprised if the team looks to move back to add more picks and to gain more value for their selections on the whole.
The NFL Draft runs from April 29-May 1.