New Carolina Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn got a ringing endorsement from Super Bowl winner turned ESPN analyst Ryan Clark.
Jaycee Horn is clearly a player of enormous promise and the Carolina Panthers may have a diamond on their hands after taking him at No. 8 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The South Carolina product is a feisty cornerback that comes from good stock and appears to be exactly the sort of player needed at a positional group that did bring its fair share of concerns into the offseason.
Horn may have been a surprise pick to some, especially from the outside looking in and with Justin Fields still available. But we later found out that the prospect was sitting atop Carolina’s board after a sensational 2020 campaign with the Gamecocks that was matched by a superb demonstration of his athletic attributes during the evaluation process.
Rookie corners do tend to go through their fair share of struggles during their first season in a professional environment. Horn will have plenty of responsibility on his shoulders right away in the pass-happy world of the NFC South, but this is a challenge he is sure to relish.
Carolina Panthers CB Jaycee Horn has a fan in Ryan Clark.
It’s clear Horn has a huge fan in Ryan Clark, a 13-year NFL veteran that won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers who is now working as a respected analyst for ESPN.
The former defensive back lauded Horn on a recent addition of ESPN NFL Live, claiming Horn is the star corner the Panthers have been looking for.
“He ain’t worried about who you are! This dude said he’ll go face to face with pops. This dude is a competition, he’ll beat you up on the line, and finish on the football. He’s exactly the type of player you want and that’s why the Carolina Panthers said we’ll get Sam Darnold, give him his fifth-year option because we need a star at cornerback and Jaycee Horn is that guy.”
“He ain’t worried about who you are! This dude said he’ll go face to face with pops! This is a dude that’s a competitor… This is the type of player you want!”@Realrclark25 tells us why Jaycee Horn is THAT guy 😂 pic.twitter.com/ITlbeS11ja
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) May 6, 2021
Clark is not alone in thinking Horn could make his presence felt from the moment he steps on the field in Carolina. He has proven production against some of college football’s top passing threats and although things will get much tougher at the next level, there is a lot to like about his chances.
Horn has the sort of mindset that rarely sees him phased at any point on the field. His physique is NFL-ready, with the player possessing the right sort of length and athleticism to make him a potential force to be reckoned with in press coverage.
This is somewhere the Panthers really struggled last season, which proved incredibly frustrating in their attempts to get off the field in third-down situations.
Adding Horn, free-agent signing A.J. Bouye, and fifth-round selection Keith Taylor Jr. to go alongside Donte Jackson is going to improve things a tremendous amount. This could also lead to some increased production from the defensive front that also looks much stronger this offseason.
Expecting him to hit it off right away goes against the grain of history regarding first-year players at the position. However, Horn might just be the exception to the rule.