Round No. 1 (Pick No. 19)
Jaycee Horn – CB (South Carolina)
Now the Carolina Panthers have two second-round picks to call upon as part of their trade with the Washington Football Team, it allows them to take the best player available at No. 19 without any real backlash. This would undoubtedly be Jaycee Horn here, with the South Carolina cornerback also filling an area of real need in the process.
Horn is the son of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn and it’s clear this fine pedigree has served him well with the Gamecocks. He enters the NFL with shutdown potential who thrives in press coverage, something the Panthers were sorely lacking in 2020 after letting James Bradberry go to the New York Giants in free agency.
Head coach Matt Rhule got a good look at what Horn could do for himself by attending South Carolina’s pro day. But whether he’ll be around at No. 19 remains to be seen considering how much his stock has grown in recent months.
There is some slight work to be done where tackling and playing off-man is concerned. But the athleticism and ability to come through in big moments is evident.
The Panthers recently signed A.J. Bouye – who is suspended for the first two games of the season – to put alongside No. 1 option Donte Jackson. However, a longer-term partner for the LSU product is needed and Horn represents some tremendous value in the late teens.