With the 2021 NFL draft one day away, the Dallas Cowboys are leaning toward drafting South Carolina's Jaycee Horn rather than Alabama's Patrick Surtain II with the No. 10 overall pick, per Fox Sports' Peter Schrager.
Schrager said on The Bill Simmons Podcast that either Horn or Surtain will likely be Dallas' choice and that Horn has the edge, according to his sources.
Horn finished with 16 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions in seven games with the Gamecocks in 2020. In 13 appearances with the Crimson Tide, Surtain posted 38 tackles, 12 pass breakups and one interception.
Surtain (No. 16) ranks higher than Horn (No. 21) on the B/R NFL Scouting Department's final big board, and the difference in their overall grades is marginal. Both are considered good enough to become immediate starters at the next level.
If someone like Florida tight end Kyle Pitts unexpectedly falls to No. 10, then the Cowboys should consider drafting the best player available. If the first round plays out as expected, then Horn or Surtain would be the obvious choice.
Dallas allowed 227.6 passing yards per game and ranked 26th in opponent passer rating (100.4) last year. Improving the secondary in free agency was difficult after quarterback Dak Prescott's four-year, $160 million extension ate up much of the Cowboys' salary-cap flexibility.
The draft presents the front office with a cost-effective way to upgrade at cornerback ahead of the regular season. Should Dallas pass on Horn and Surtain, fans would question the decision.