Patrick Surtain II may be the best cornerback in this draft class. His incredible technique may be the best in this class. He was able to lock down almost every receiver in college, to the point where Surtain II had more forced incompletions (13) than catches allowed this season(12) while in single coverage. He was barely targeted last season even with those forced incompletions and catches, which was mainly because of an incredible sophomore campaign where he broke out as one of the top defensive players in college football. Surtain II’s mistakes are rare, and while he did have a couple of problems in college he showed his ability to grow and was able to correct most of these flaws by his junior season.
Patrick Surtain II Stats and Measurables:
Weight: 203 lbs
2018 Stats: 15 Games/37 TOTAL/28 SOLO/1 FF/1 INT/7 PD
2019 Stats: 12 Games/42 TOTAL/32 SOLO/3 FF/1 FR/2 INT/8 PD
2020 Stats: 13 Games/38 TOTAL/22 SOLO/1 FR/1 INT/12 PD/1 TD
1. It would be impossible to write a Patrick Surtain II scouting report without mentioning his technique. He is probably the most technically sound player in this class. He reacts to a receiver’s cuts carefully and is able to cover them without being susceptible to double moves. His backpedal is outstanding and it allows him to always stay in front of the receiver. He flips his hips quickly which is how he is able to be on a receiver’s hip constantly. His coverage technique overall is textbook, and it’s one of his greatest strengths. Surtain II’s tackling technique is excellent as well. He is one of the better tackling corners in this class because of it. He rarely misses tackles and is able to get off blocks quickly which cuts off any running lanes outside.
2. Surtain II also posses great ball skills. He is adept at recognizing routes and looking back for the ball without letting the receiver gain separation. Once he locates the ball he locks in and is able to put himself in the best position to make a play. The main problem corners have when looking back to the ball is losing track of the receiver, and Surtain II does a great job of not letting this happen by keeping his hand on a receiver’s hip. This lets him know where a receiver is at all times which lets him turn and read the quarterback.
3. Alabama’s defensive scheme usually makes Surtain II the monster cornerback, meaning that he is assigned to a player (usually the team’s best) and then covers them the whole game. He played this role very well and didn’t let up many yards despite being matched up against some of the best receivers in college football. Even when someone is able to make a catch on Surtain II, he is usually right with them and is able to bring them down before allowing lots of yards after the catch. He sticks with receivers very well and few are able to gain any separation on him.
1. There are times where it seems Surtain II shadowed receivers a bit too well. He was flagged lots of times his sophomore year when trying to get to the ball, not because he was far away, but rather he tried to play through the receiver while he was draped all over him. It rose a lot of concerns surrounding his discipline, but Surtain II answered most of these concerns during his junior season where we saw a dramatic cut in penalties.
2. Even though Surtain II has great size for a cornerback, he may not use it as well as teams may want him to. He doesn’t utilize his long arms on the press, even though they might give him a big advantage. He also tends to grab on a receiver to reposition himself when he doesn’t need to. There were instances where he was a couple of steps behind a receiver, and instead of realizing he could still break up a pass because of his size, he would become grabby to try and get closer which he paid the price for mutliple times. If Surtain II learns how to better benefit from his size, he would have much fewer flags thrown on him.
Surtain II may have the highest floor in this draft class. His game is strongly catered towards the NFL, and at the next level, he should fit in great. He will have an instant impact on whichever team picks him. His skillset checks all the boxes for NFL teams; size, coverage ability, upside, and above all technique are things Surtain II offers and he will be rewarded for it soon. Top cornerback prospects such as Surtain can be hit-or-miss sometimes, but even with his tremendous potential and upside, at worst he should be an above-average cornerback. With this in mind, multiple teams do question Surtain II’s vertical speed and lack of use of his size as well as his penalty discipline. These will big factors in the trajectory of his career. If he works hard and is able to work out these issues, his talent is immeasurable and he could become a future superstar.