2021 Dolphins Draft: A Surtain Sequel?

The Miami Dolphins could do use worse than Patrick Surtain II if they went looking for a cornerback in the 2021 NFL draft
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Patrick Surtain II has seen highlights of his father in action back when he was providing stellar play in the Miami Dolphins secondary.

Some 20 years later, the younger Surtain is heading into the draft viewed as a better college prospect than his father, who was good enough to eventually make the Pro Bowl three times.

The younger Surtain is considered pretty much a lock to be a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, which would beat his father's status as a second-round pick in the 1998 draft. That comes with a caveat, though, because Jimmy Johnson thought enough of Surtain that he gave the Carolina Panthers a first-round pick in 2000 for the chance to draft him.

Surtain played for his father at Plantation American Heritage before starring at the University of Alabama, so naturally the idea of playing for his dad's old team in his hometown no doubt has appeal.

Though Surtain, like pretty much every prospect in the history of prospects, isn't about to publicly favor one team over all others.

“It would be a blessing," Surtain said of the idea of playing for the Dolphins before quickly catching himself ... "just whatever team I go to, it would be a blessing in disguise, but I feel like if I go (to Miami) it would just be another stepping stone, another legacy that continues like he's done before. But at the same time whatever team I go to in the the meantime, I just will feel blessed. I just can't wait for the opportunity. When draft day comes, whatever team picks me, I’ll be grateful.”

There's no real consensus as to exactly how early Surtain will get drafted or whether he'll be the first cornerback taken, a likelihood that increased after Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley underwent back surgery last week.

A best guess has Surtain falling somewhere between the sixth and 18th picks in the first round, which happen to be the Dolphins' two slots.

But to suggest there's no possibility of the Dolphins taking Surtain would be off base.

The reality is the Dolphins have a potential issue at cornerback (Xavien Howard and his contract) that will need to be resolved and it's also a well-known fact that NFL teams can never have enough quality corners.

Besides, Howard, the Dolphins have on the roster 2020 free agent pick-up Byron Jones, Nik Needham, Jamal Perry, newcomer Justin Coleman and 2020 first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene.

As a prospect, Surtain is a very good athlete (though perhaps not elite) but a technician with good size and intangibles.

"First of all, he's a great person," Bama coach (and former Dolphins coach) Nick Saban said Monday. "He's never been in my office in three years for anything he didn't do, and he does things exactly like you lay it out for him. If you want to talk about accountability, responsibility, you're never going to find anybody who does it any better than he does.

"And the guy's got really good skills to play the position. He's very instinctive. He's got great length, he's got great size. He's a good cover guy. He's got really good feet. He's smart. He understands the game, he understands the offense, and what they're trying to do. He's always very well prepared. We always give our guys a scouting report, assignment that they have to do. His is always the best of just about anybody that presents to the team. I think he's going to have a great career."

That Surtain is well coached and well prepared certainly makes sense given his pedigree.

“Yeah, I looked at his highlights plenty of times," the younger Surtain said. "They’ve got some of his highlights on YouTube, some of his games on YouTube and I'll look at that. His game to my game are very similar because we like to press. And we’re very smart out there understanding opposing teams’ tendencies and just understanding the quarterback position. That's where our games are similar.

“I just not try to compare my career to my dad's career but just looking at his career he had an ultimately great career. He had a 12-year career. I can control what I control by just going out there and playing my game the best I can. And at the end of the day, his legacy is his legacy and I'm just trying to build on my legacy.”