There's been a theme through the first picks of the opening round of the 2021 NFL draft — former college teammates reuniting on the same team.
LSU stars Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase are now with the Bengals. Alabama wide out Jaylen Waddle was selected sixth overall by the Miami Dolphins to reunite with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
And now former Alabama defensive back Partick Surtain II has been selected ninth overall by the Denver Broncos, who drafted former Crimson Tide star wide out Jerry Jeudy in the first round of the 2020 draft.
Surtain is the second defensive back off of the board, with South Carolina cornerback Jacee Horn being the eighth overall selection to the Carolina Panthers.
The Plantation, Fla. product now has bragging rights over his All-Pro father, Patrick, who was selected in the second round of the 1998 draft to the Dolphins.
Draft Profile: Patrick Surtain II
Hometown: Plantation, Florida
• Unanimous first team All-American (AFCA, Associated Press, FWAA, The Sporting News, Walter Camp).
• Named SEC Defensive Player of the Year by both The Associated Press and league coaches
• The 2020 top-rated cornerback by Pro Football Focus
• Finalist for the Bednarik, Lott, Nagurski and Thorpe awards
• Named the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Rose Bowl
• Per Alabama, allowed 25 yards receiving or fewer in 10 of 13 games. Was targeted just 48 times during the 2020 season and allowed only 21 completions for 273 combined yards
• Broke up a team-high 12 passes and totaled 38 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, with two quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.
What they said ...
Zierlein, NFL.com: Lockdown, press-man cornerback with elite size, length and talent to match up with any brand of receiver from any place on the field. He was a five-star recruit coming in and he consistently competed for championships in high school and college. Surtain possesses elite physical and athletic traits with the rare combination of length and short-area quickness that allows him to play on a press-man island and phase routes on all three levels. He plays to his length with plus technique and cover skills that make winning downfield a very challenging proposition. He was beaten in true man-to-man battles for 29-plus yards just five times during his career. His ability to stay connected to the route allows him to shut down yards after catch very quickly as a strong, wrap-up tackler. Run support goes in the "strengths" column, as well. He's been well-schooled at home and at Alabama. He's wired like a future All-Pro cornerback.
SI analyst Jim Mora Jr.: 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.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network after Surtain's pro day: “It was really good. 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.”