Chazz Surratt - Linebacker, North Carolina
By the numbers:
6'1", 227 pounds per Senior Bowl measurements.
2020: 91 tackles (7.5 for loss), six sacks, three passes broken up and an interception in 11 games played.
Chazz Surratt, the older brother of Wake Forrest wide receiver Sage Surratt, is an extremely gifted athlete with elite burst and acceleration, as well as more than adequate top-end speed. This is evident in coverage and when he rounds the corner on blitzes. Surratt has great closing speed and flips his hips quickly, allowing him to serve as an instinctive linebacker with true sideline-to-sideline range.
Surratt is aggressive, playing with a sense of urgency that matches his athletic profile. His ceiling is extremely high, both as a cover linebacker but also as a pass-rushing weapon. His prior experience playing the quarterback position gives him a firsthand look at what opposing field generals are thinking. Once he rounds out his game, Surratt has the ability to be a special player.
While Surratt's potential is a plus, it will certainly take a lot of work in order for him to cash in on it. He's a smart player but is still developing as someone who is relatively new to the position. Missed reads and poor angles occasionally pop up on his tape and while Surratt is a willing tackler, he's a bit inconsistent in that area. These are things that should improve with playing time and experience, although they'll be put under a microscope at the next level.
Surratt would also greatly benefit from getting stronger as a player. If he's used around the line of scrimmage early on, he's susceptible to getting washed away by much larger offensive linemen. Adding five or 10 pounds of muscle will not only help in run support and pass-rushing situations, but it should make Surratt even more physical of a player.
How Surratt fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs' top two starting linebackers for next season are set in stone. Anthony Hitchens — who has one year remaining on his contract — will return as the MIKE and Willie Gay Jr. is primed for a larger role after not seeing the field much in year one. Damien Wilson, the team's previous SAM linebacker, is a free agent. Surratt's athleticism fits well in any system, but he'd likely be brought along similar to how Gay was in 2020. The possibility of forming an intriguing linebacker tandem down the road is interesting, but the immediate fit with the Chiefs isn't great.
Surratt is an uber-athletic linebacker with great potential. The Chiefs don't have a pressing need at the position right now but if they wanted to exercise foresight, they could do much worse than taking him. His potential makes him an enticing prospect with Day 2 value, probably as a late-second or early third-round pick who needs some seasoning. The Chiefs have been here before, so whether they'd be willing to do it for a second-consecutive year remains to be seen.