ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper jr. gave the Arizona Cardinals two impact players in their alternating three-round mock draft.
McShay has the Cardinals addressing the cornerback position in the first round, selecting Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina with the No. 16 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Both (of Arizona’s) outside CBs are on one-year deals, and Horn is a tough press corner with wheels. Arizona needs someone who can square up with the elite NFC West receivers now that Patrick Peterson is elsewhere.
During his three-year collegiate career, Horn never missed a game, starting 29 of 30 outings. Horn only appeared in seven games in 2020, opting out after the Gamecocks fired former head coach Will Muschamp.
Horn was responsible for six passes defended, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 2020. Horn was voted second-team All-SEC by opposing coaches despite opting out of the Gamecocks’ last three contests.
Horn’s size and length, along with his ability to shadow a team’s number No. 1 receiver, makes him a player who could step in and contribute immediately, according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.
Horn also has an NFL pedigree. His father Joe Horn played 12 years in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
In the second round, it was Kiper’s turn to draft for Arizona. He had the Cardinals adding another weapon to the offense, selecting Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers with the No. 49 pick.
Rodgers is one of the best slot receivers in this class, and Kyler Murray needs an underneath target who knows how to get open.
Over his four-year career with the Tigers, Rodgers hauled in 181 receptions for 2,144 yards and 15 touchdowns.
After the Tigers lost Tee Higgins to the NFL and Justyn Ross to injury, Rodgers turned in the best season of his collegiate career. He led the Tigers with 77 catches for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns in 2020.
Like Horn, Rodgers also has an NFL bloodline. Rodgers’ father Tee Martin played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2001) and Oakland Raiders (2003). Martin is now the wide receivers coach for the Baltimore Ravens.