Patrick Surtain II or Jaycee Horn… Who’s Cowboys’ Preferred CB1?

    Early on in the draft process fans around were debating whether the should draft or II with the 10th overall pick in the first-round. As we draw closer to the big event in the though, the 2021 , the focus has now shifted to either Surtain or Jaycee Horn. Today, we will try to figure out which of the two cornerback prospects is the best fit in Dallas.

    Patrick Surtain II vs. Jaycee Horn


    Patrick Surtain II

    Jaycee Horn

    Height 6020 6006
    Weight 208 205
    40-yard dash 4.46 4.39
    Arm Length 32 ¾” 33”
    Wingspan 78 4/8” 77 ¼”
    Broad Jump 131” 133”
    Vertical Jump 39” 41.5”

    From a measurable’s standpoint there’s not much that separates Patrick Surtain II or Jaycee Horn. Surtain’s obviously a little bigger and Horn is probably the little more athletic of the two, but both fit the prototypical mold teams look for in an outside cornerback. So, how are we or the Dallas Cowboys supposed to differentiate the two to determine who’s the better fit?

    In all honesty there’s no right or wrong answer here. Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn would both be an excellent addition to Dallas’ , however, I do believe we can break this down a little further to see which player might just be the better overall fit… Surtain or Horn?

    CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

    Patrick Surtain II
    CB Patrick Surtain II

    There’s no denying Patrick Surtain II fits the criteria of a prototypical top cornerback prospect in this year’s draft class. He checks all of the boxes, has the proven track record, and as the son of a former three-time CB Patrick Surtain Sr. has football in his blood. Add it all up and he’s an obvious choice for the Dallas Cowboys at #10.

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    Surtain is considered the “safest” CB in the entire class. His track record, football IQ, and the disciplined/technique sound way he played at Alabama is why many have him as a top ranked player at his position this year. Honestly, there’s not very many negatives about his game. You really have to nitpick to find anything bad to say about him.

    One of the biggest knocks on Surtain’s game is his lack of interceptions during his time in Alabama. Although talented in coverage he seems to struggle getting his hands on the ball. Another concern is his delayed reaction off the snap of the ball. This sometimes allows receivers to beat his jam and gain separation almost immediately. This might be the biggest negative to his game because of his questionable long speed and short area quickness.

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    Overall though, there’s a reason why nearly everybody is mocking him to the Dallas Cowboys. He is a natural fit in ’s heavy Cover 1/3 scheme, however, that doesn’t necessarily make him the best fit.

    CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

    Jaycee Horn
    CB Jaycee Horn

    While many believe Patrick Surtain II is the top-ranked CB in this year’s draft class the margin between him and Jaycee Horn might not be as wide as people would lead you to believe. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Horn is the CB1 on a lot of teams big boards, including the Dallas Cowboys. However, that’s merely speculation right now.

    Like Surtain though, Jaycee Horn checks all of the boxes for what teams look for in a prototypical cornerback prospect. And also like Surtain, Horn has football in his blood. As the son of former four-time Pro Bowl WR Joe Horn he’s been fully immersed in the football world from an early age and it’s translated to the field.

    What really sets Jaycee Horn apart from Patrick Surtain II is his versatility, physicality, and attitude. Unlike the former the Crimson Tide CB who is considered a “left corner only” by many, Horn predominantly played in the slot in 2018 before moving outside in 2019-20. That in itself provides great value, but it’s his attitude and physicality that could endear him to Dallas’ staff.

    Jaycee’s high-end athleticism and physical, in-your-face mentality is something that has been sorely lacking in Dallas’ secondary for quite some time. Then you throw in his ball-tracking ability, instincts in man coverage, his smooth hip flipping ability, and his route recognition you’ve got a prospect definitely in play for the Cowboys at #10.

    The former South Carolina CB isn’t without his flaws though. He’s a little bit grabby in coverage and that could result in in the NFL. However, that could have just been him taking advantage of the fact the NCAA doesn’t have an illegal contact rule. He also needs to do a better job of tackling in open space. Overall though, there is a lot to like about his game and his upside.

    Choose Your Fighter…

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    Opinions of course are going to very, but if you've read any of my previous work you already know I'm a huge Jaycee Horn fan and believe he's the better fit with the Dallas Cowboys. No to Patrick Surtain II… I just think Horn not only brings more to the table, but has more upside as well. Whether or not Dallas believes the same though is completely unknown at this point in time.

    Ultimately the Cowboys decision will likely come down to whether or not they are looking for more of a CB1 who has the ability to travel with receivers in coverage or one who can potentially lock down his side of the field. If they want the latter Surtain is probably their guy, but if they want a CB who can potentially travel with the Tyreek Hill types Horn should be the pick.

    Which direction will they go?

    Brian Martin
    Brian Martin
    Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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    Stephen Gregory

    Great article, Brian. I was all in on Surtain but you’ve given me a lot to think about in Horn. I’m liking that versatility aspect that you talked about. I haven’t looked up the stats on interceptions for Horn versus Surtain, but, I will. My thoughts are draft big time players with big time resumes from winning big time programs. I live in Tennessee where the Vols are a big time program but a perennial loser. I want guys who have tasted success and can’t stand the taste of defeat. Hence, Surtain was my guy. Now, it’s really going to be interesting which way the Cowboys go in this draft because, surely, they need to fix the defense with playmakers. If Horn has the ability to create turnovers where Surtain doesn’t, that is literally a game changer.

    Stephen Gregory

    I hear you. Otherwise, we would never have had Larry Allen. Point well made.

    Jason Payne

    I certainly had Caleb as my corner 1 until his surgery. I was down on Jaycee until recently (only because I can’t stand players who get penalties! That would drive me insane if I were a coach). However, Jaycee can correct that he is my pick! Even though Patrick is the most NFL-ready corner right now his lack of deep speed caps his ceiling. With speed becoming more of a thing, I need a corner who can keep up with the speed guys. This team also needs a ball-hawk who will get interceptions.

    James Vargas

    Nice article Brian. Great insight in what both CB’s have to offer. I really don’t mind if they pick either of them. Both will hopefully have great NFL careers.

    Dave SC58

    What a great article! Now I am really feeling good about the Cowboys chances of landing a great Cornerback. I was worried that Surtain would get picked ahead of the Cowboys, but now, even if he does, Jaycee Horn is the next man up! Or If Jaycee Horn gets picked ahead of the Cowboys at #10, Surtain is certain to be there! Either way, we have the Cornerback of the future! Now, if we can just get Richie Grant……..

    Dave SC58

    Speaking of the draft in general, wouldn’t it be great if the Cowboys could get any 4 of the following players with their first 4 picks:

    Patrick Surtain II
    Jaycee Horn
    Caleb Farley
    Alex Leatherwood
    Christian Barmore
    Jevon Holland
    Asante Samuel Jr.
    Jabril Cox
    Rashad Weaver
    Richie Grant

    Chuck Wright

    Good write up. . . ..not that Da Boys asked, but I can live with either. Now what I am really interested from you, how far off are CBs like Newsome from NW or the SC CB who’s name I can’t spell? Or Caleb Farley for that matter.


    Farley is the only CB in the entire draft with any modicum of “special traits. Surtain is the safest defensive pick in the entire draft (no matter position). Horn is the sexy, fast-riser.


    That’s a pretty dead on assessment Ghost ,

    Farley feels like the guy with the most special , problem is he’s got a injury history ,

    Surtain is a safe pick cuz he’s faced some of the best WRs college football can offer but he doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as Farley or Horn imo ,

    Horn is a high riser with a lot of potential , also with a lower floor than Surtain , question is , can he build on that potential ?

    With all this in mind , i’m slightly leaning with going Horn , but I wouldn’t mind going Surtain


    Good article Brian . Just to answer Stephen Gregory question about INTs, etc.
    Surtain, 4 INTs, 27 PBUs, in 41 games.
    Horn, 2 INTs, 23 PBUs, in 30 games
    Farley, 6 INTs, 19 PBUs, 24 games
    These appear to be the top three RIGHT NOW.

    My sleeper is P Adebo from Stanford 6’1″ ,190, with 8 INTs, 38 PBUs in 22 games.


    Yeah Brian, I like the production, and think he’s underrated also. If we can get him in the third or fourth? rd, we can be more flexible with earlier picks. And he can tackle too, 97 in 22 games!


    Great read Brian I’m 10 toes in with Horn he’s a dog and Uber competitive something our defense has been lacking for years… Not mad at Surtain but he reminds me of Byron Jones very rarely saw him make plays on the ball… We need playmakers Horn is the playmaker between the two.. Don’t care about the grabby narrative every DB is grabby….

    Aaron Kramer

    Not a fan of Horns Grabby but like his potential. If he gets flagged a lot because of it, he could get picked on and lose his confidence which is his greatest trait. I’m on the Surtain train but wouldn’t mind horn.

    Jon Young

    Really good article Brian, with either one of those two in the first. What are the chances of us drafting Trevon Moehrig in the second Rd and in the 3rd, 4th or 5th Rd us drafting Jevon Holland. He has played both DB and Safety in college and played them really well. Also I are there any of the players from North Carolina (UNC) you like and would possibly draft.

    Justin harshman

    It’s tough between the two … I feel like horn is a little more versatile and with a higher ceiling possibly … but surtain is very sound and technical and has a better floor coming into the pros . I did see a stat that in the last 2 years the most yards surtain gave up in a game was 65 yards pretty good considering he played in the sec

    Troy Rdz

    My fav is Horn. As u said there’s not that big of difference in their measurables but u can’t coach speed, athleticism and DEFINATELY NOT SWAG DAWG ATTITUDE! However u can coach technique to lessen the grabbing…