Carolina Panthers 2021 Draft: Just how good is Jaycee Horn?

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Jaycee Horn /

The Carolina Panthers could use a young cornerback and incoming college prospect Jaycee Horn might just fit the bill in the 2021 NFL Draft.

There are few college prospects entering the NFL this year with more buzz surrounding them than Jaycee Horn. The talented cornerback has emerged as a potential top-15 pick later this month, which is still a clear need for the Carolina Panthers despite their recent acquisition of free-agent A.J. Bouye.

The former South Carolina star was an absolute stud for the Gamecocks in 2020, locking down some of college football’s most gifted playmakers on a weekly basis. Horn gave up more than 50 receiving yards just once last season – which was to Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith – and even then the Alabama wideout mustered just 60 yards coming up against him.

Not a bad resume to take into the pro ranks by any stretch of the imagination.

The prospect is the son of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Jorn Horn, so this strong pedigree is clearly something Horn has put to good use during his career so far. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule went to see the player for himself at South Carolina’s pro day, where he displayed his supreme athletic prowess that no doubt impressed those in attendance.

A recent tweet from Pro Football Focus further demonstrated Horn’s success against some top prospects – many have either gone in the first-round or will be taken in this region in 2021.

  • Jaylen Waddle – 12 yards
  • Jerry Jeudy – 7 yards
  • Justyn Ross – 14 yard
  • Kyle Pitts – 20 yards
  • Seth Williams – 44 yards, 2 INTs
  • Elijah Moore – 7/10, 47 yards (2 games)

This is sensational whichever way one looks at it. If Horn can carry this over to the next level, then there is nothing to suggest he cannot emulate his father and have a superb NFL career.

How Jaycee Horn would fit on the Carolina Panthers.

Horn thrives in press coverage, which is something the Panthers really struggled doing thanks in no small part to some frustrating injury problems surrounding No. 1 option Donte Jackson.

The former LSU star enjoyed a phenomenal end to the campaign after finally ridding himself of the toe difficulties that hampered him right up until Carolina’s Week 13 bye. So if he can avoid these complications next time around, Jackson could be in for a big payday next year.

If Bouye can return to something like the form of old once he comes into the lineup in Week 3, it should also help considerably. However, if the Panthers decide to allocate their first-rounder on another defensive player, then his name will be on the shortlist.

Whether Carolina wants to pick Horn at No. 8 is highly questionable. However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently reported that the Panthers were open to trading back with a team looking for a signal-caller to accumulate more draft capital, so if this scenario does come to fruition then it makes taking the cornerback a lot more likely.

Couple this with this year’s class projected to be an extremely deep one for offensive linemen and acquiring Horn becomes even more realistic. This would be a popular decision from the organization and one that fills a definite need, but unless they trade back then it might be out of the question.

More. 5 silent assassins on offense the Carolina Panthers could draft in 2021. light

Only time will tell as to how the draft plays out and what offers come Carolina’s way. There is also a big chance they stand firm if someone like Penei Sewell is still around, but the upside where Horn is concerned shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to putting together a first-round shortlist.