In the coming weeks, we will be going position-by-position and previewing this year’s draft class. Before we get into the reports though, it’s important that we explain how our grading scale works. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).
Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect.
The final cornerback scale is as follows:
|9.0 – 7.0||High-end 3 down starter. Pro Bowl level|
|6.9 – 6.7||Strong starter who plays on all 3 downs.|
|6.6 - 6.5||3rd CB. Capable starter with inside/outside flexibility|
|6.4||3rd CB. Role-player. Lacks inside/outside flexibility.|
|6.2||Versatile backup with CB/DS flexibility|
|6.1-6.0||Developmental. Top traits but needs time|
|5.9||Top backup. 4th CB. Quality special teamer|
|5.8||4th CB w/o special teams ability. 5th CB w/ SPT|
|5.7||Low-end backup CB with growable upside.|
For this preview, we will look at South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn.
Jaycee Horn: CB Rank 2 of 39 | Final Grade: 6.8
Report by Alec Mallon
Horn is a physical and athletic corner with excellent ball skills and should have no issues transitioning into a true No. 1 corner in the NFL once he cleans up the penalties and improves his off-man coverage.
Jaycee Horn is a cornerback for the University of South Carolina who primarily plays out wide on both sides of the field, but does play in the slot with success. Horn played in 30 games over his career, starting 29, including the first 7 games of 2020 before opting out of the final 3. He has great athletic traits, having the speed and quickness to run with anyone. He is a bigger corner with excellent strength which he uses to his advantage. It doesn’t get displayed much, but Horn enjoys showing his tougher side to create negative plays at the line of scrimmage.
Horn uses his physicality to his advantage and is very successful rerouting opposing receivers. He displays strong mirror-match skills, and doesn’t often get beaten off the line. Horn has fluid hips and transitions very quickly. He can turn and run with ease, staying in the hip of his man.
When asked to play off the line, Horn is a little uncomfortable. He can be beaten on quick-hitting routes where he must rely solely on his speed, but he shows good quickness and closing ability, limiting yards after the catch as well as creating pass breakups. In zone, Horn excels at reading the quarterback’s eyes. He has a good understanding of route concepts and timing and can follow both the quarterback’s eyes as well as his man. His quick reaction and range allow him to make throws difficult, creating turnover opportunities for his defense.
With the ball in the air, Horn shows superb ball skills. He is able to locate balls while simultaneously feeling for his man. He has very good body control and consistently puts himself in position to make plays on the ball. Occasionally, Horn can be a little too physical down the field, resulting in penalties here and there, but never puts his team in difficult situations by giving up the big play.
In the run game, Horn is sufficient in all facets. In the open field, Horn does a good job of breaking down and limiting plays getting behind or around him. He shows he can lower his shoulder and deliver a blow to backs while showing solid technique to wrap up.
On the edge, Horn shows he can be aggressive on opposing receivers, having the ability to stack and shed to limit plays on the outside. As a box defender, he doesn’t show much aggression to be an impact in short-yardage situations.
Horn projects as a very strong starting cornerback in the NFL. Horn can play both sides of the field, but is most effective on the outside where his physicality can be utilized. He can move into the slot on occasion, but he hasn’t played there much. Because of his physicality and speed, Horn could be a key piece on special teams, being a part of all core units.
|Press-man coverage||Off-man coverage|
|Ball skills||Handsy down the field|
|Special Teams Value||6|
|Year||Trgt||Comp||Comp%||Yds||Yds/Trgt||Int||Int Drops||TD Allowed||Tkls||TFL||Brk Tkl||BT%|
|Year||PBU||Deserved Catch %||YAC/Comp||Rating||EPA||EPA/Trgt||Pos%||Yds/Snap||Pos%||Yds/Snap||Pos%|
|Usage||Total Points||Total Points Rating|
|Year||Man||Slot%||Press Cov%||Press||Slot||Wide||Cov Total||Run Del||Total||Per Cov||Per Run||Per Play|
Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the third annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 300 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2021 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). The book also includes unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, research on key football subjects (including injuries), and the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points.