Like father, like son?
It's certainly looking that way in regards to Patrick Surtain II.
As the 2021 NFL Draft heads into its final month of evaluations, teams are look at the former Alabama cornerback as being as good of a player as his father at the next level, if not better, and that's saying something.
Surtain's father was an All-Pro in the NFL, and named to three Pro Bowls. Over his 11-year career with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs he was credited with 538 tackles, 37 interceptions, 7.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
"I think he does," have the same kind of potential, Sports Illustrated analyst Jim Mora Jr. said.
"I see a guy who as a former defensive back coach I would love to be able to work with. He has all of the traits you're looking for in a big-time NFL player."
Actually, the son was considered a better prospect both coming out of high school and leaving Alabama. The father was a second-round draft pick out of Southern Miss.
He was also 5 foot 11.
The son measured 6-2 on Tuesday.
“Pat’s got great physical ability, he's got great length," said Nick Saban, who won the recruiting war for him in the signing Class of 2018. "But he’s smart and very, very instinctive. So he always plays faster in the game. Because he is smart, he does a great job of preparing."
Surtain II was unanimous first-team All-American, selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by both the AP and the league coaches, and named the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Rose Bowl.
He was targeted just 48 times last season and allowed only 21 completions for 273 combined yards. He broke up a team-high 12 passes and totaled 38 tackles, including 3.5 for loss as a junior while playing for the national champions.
Although Alabama won a ton of hardware this past season, a lot of Crimson Tide fans thought he was robbed of the Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in college football.
Surtain said this week that he shrugged it off, because it was something that he couldn't control.
He has the same attitude about the draft.
Pro Day was something he could control, especially since the NFL combine was canceled.
Surtain's 40-yard dash time of 4.42 would have been among the fastest run run by a cornerback at the last combine (2019). He also bench-pressed 225 pounds 18 times, had a vertical jump of 39 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 11 inches.
“It was really good,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said of Surtain’s pro day. “When you look at the testing stuff and start there, it’s outstanding numbers. You kind of put him up, side by side, with Jalen Ramsey, just from a testing standpoint, it’s eerily similar. I think they were a pound different. Very similar across the board in what they did there.
"The numbers were great, and I thought the field workout, he moved around and was really fluid for a big guy, which is not easy to do.”
Ramsey was the fifth-overall selection in 2016.
A lot of the mock drafts projecting Surtain going No. 10 to Dallas, will probably have to rethink things because he might not still be available.
Not only did Surtain almost certainly lock down being considered the top cornerback in the draft, but top defensive player overall. It's not considered a good year for defensive linemen or edge rushers, and there are aren't a lot of top end linebackers or safeties either.
Depending on the team, his competition is probably Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye or Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
At corner, it's clearly Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech, who has elected to have back surgery, followed by the likes of South Carolina's Jaycee Horn.
For teams that have a definite need at cornerback, like the Cowboys — who sent defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to Tuscaloosa on Tuesday — Eagles or Cardinals, the scarcity of top defensive players means that Surtain will be more in demand.
They may have to trade up to get him. The Eagles have the sixth pick, but are also desperate to get Jalen Hurts some help at wide receiver.
But while the numbers were great, and Surtain II clearly passed the eye test, his approach may have been the biggest wow factor.
When asked what kind of advice his father gave him about the NFL, the biggest thing he mentioned was "preparation."
"We do this thing where each player has an assignment in terms of scouting report," Saban said. "He gives a better scouting report than I would give for what his part of it is, and I think that’s really important when you’re a pro player because preparation is really important because you know you’re always gonna play against a great player.
“Pat’s gonna have a great career.”
NFL Draft Bible
This week's Mock Draft Monday was the first following the start of free agency.
The first Alabama player off the board in that simulation? Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle by the Lions at No. 7. Second was the Eagles taking Surtain after trading down a couple of slots with the Panthers to No. 8.
Six Crimson Tide players were projected in the first round.
Mel Kiper dropped his latest mock draft on Monday, before Alabama's Pro Day, which included five Crimson Tide players.
7. Lions: WR Devonta Smith
8. Dolphins (trade): WR Jaylen Waddle
10. Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II
15. Patriots: QB Mac Jones
32. Buccaneers: DL Christian Barmore
Hall of Famer Gil Brandt has listed his initial Hot 100 for the draft:
9. Devonta Smith
10. Jaylen Waddle
14. Patrick Surtain II
24. Mac Jones
25. Christian Barmore
26. Najee Harris
36. Landon Dickerson
43. Alex Leatherwood
68. Deonte Brown
2021 NFL Draft order
No., Team, Record
- Jacksonville Jaguars 1-15
- New York Jets 2-14
- Miami Dolphins (via 4-12 Houston Texans)
- Atlanta Falcons 4-12
- Cincinnati Bengals 4-11-1
- Philadelphia Eagles 4-11-1
- Detroit Lions 5-11
- Carolina Panthers 5-11
- Denver Broncos 5-11
- Dallas Cowboys 6-10
- New York Giants 6-10
- San Francisco 49ers 6-10
- Los Angeles Chargers 7-9
- Minnesota Vikings 7-9
- New England Patriots 7-9
- Arizona Cardinals 8-8
- Las Vegas Raiders 8-8
- Miami Dolphins 10-6
- Washington Football Team 7-9
- Chicago Bears 8-8
- Indianapolis Colts 11-5
- Tennessee Titans 11-5
- New York Jets (via 12-4 Seattle Seahawks)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
- Jacksonville Jaguars (via 10-6 Los Angeles Rams)
- Cleveland Browns 11-5
- Baltimore Ravens 11-5
- New Orleans Saints 12-4
- Green Bay Packers 13-3
- Buffalo Bills 13-3
- Kansas City Chiefs 14-2
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-5