Cornerback is the position most think the Dallas Cowboys will take with the 10th overall pick in next week's NFL Draft. Two names lead the charge, Alabama's Patrick Surtain, and South Carolina's Jaycee Horn. The former is looked at as the more technically sound player while the latter is believed to be more physical and aggressive, giving the Cowboys quite the choice if both are there in the first round.
Horn recently interviewed with the Cowboys, and predictably, he was asked who was the best corner in the draft. He was honest and direct in his answer, mentioning what separates himself and Surtain.
“I feel like I'm the best corner in this draft hands down,” Horn said. “When I look at all the corners I feel like the top, the top of the top is me and Pat Surtain of Alabama. I feel like he a great player I learned a lot from watching his film. But I think what separates us ultimately is just… the way we compete, the way I compete, and the way he plays. I feel like it's like a night and day difference when you turn on the tape.”
Horn isn't the only one who believes he's at the top of the cornerback list. Florida Tight End Kyle Pitts, another player linked to the Cowboys in the first round, also interviewed with America's Team. When he was asked who was the toughest cornerback he faced on the collegiate level, he didn't hesitate to mention Horn.
“I would say, Jaycee Horn. That was one of the best DBs I went against,” Pitts said. “It was someone that, you know, we're good friends. We compete a lot, and you know, throughout the whole game, that wasn't somebody who just, I wouldn't say gave up, but just let up. Me and him were talking the whole game, talking trash to each other, but still competing at the same time. So that's someone who's good at — he has great fundamentals and great speed, so you got to work to beat him.”
The praise for Horn is warranted when looking at his three-year career with the Gamecocks. According to Pro Football Focus, Horn only allowed eight catches in 239 coverage snaps last season. In 124 man coverage snaps, he gave up only four receptions and forced five incompletions. Alabama Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith, who could be a top 10 pick himself and won the Heisman Trophy last season, was the only receiver to gain 50 or more yards against Horn. Also, his 33% completion percentage was the lowest in the SEC in 2020.
The Cowboy's interest in Horn is understandable considering his talent but it's not one-sided. Several weeks ago, Horn joined the Nosebleed Seats on 105.3 The Fan and talked about having conversations with the Cowboys and mentioned he would welcome the opportunity to play in Dallas.
“It would definitely be big to be drafted by the Cowboys,” Horn said. “A team with a lot of history. But anywhere I go, I'll be happy to suit up for that team.”
It will be interesting to see which way the Cowboys go with the 10th overall pick. Horn will be one of the top options, and if he's the selection, he would join 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs and give the Cowboys a dynamic young duo at the cornerback position for the foreseeable future.