Eagles Draft Profile: Getting to know Patrick Surtain II

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Citrus Bowl – Michigan v Alabama
ORLANDO, FL – JANUARY 01: Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Patrick Surtain II (2) prior to the first half of the Citrus Bowl between the Michigan Wolverines and the Alabama Crimson Tide on January 01, 2020, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)

The son of former NFL star cornerback Patrick Surtain, Patrick Surtain Jr was always going to be heavily watched throughout his childhood to see if he’d follow in his father’s footsteps and become a star cornerback in the NFL. After watching his college career at Alabama, it’s safe to say he’s primed for greatness at the next level. 

After impressing college scouts during his high school career at American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida, where he was a two-time USA Today High School All-American, Surtain committed to the University of Alabama. He went on to have a phenomenal 3 years with the Crimson Tide, which saw him play in 3 Bowl games and a National Championship game. Amongst his team awards, Surtain won a few individual awards like SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 and was named the Defensive MVP after his performance in the 2021 Rose Bowl. 

Here are his 3-year college career stats (via ESPN): 

Strengths: 
  • Surtain has the perfect frame for an outside corner standing at 6’2 and 208 lbs. 
  • Phenomenal corner prospect whose ceiling is becoming a lockdown CB1 in the league
  • Fantastic in all forms of coverage, whether that’s man or zonal. Surtain has a high football IQ and understanding of the role he has to play in those different disciplines. 
  • Patient when using his hands. He won’t rush into doing so but can force wideouts to reroute with well-placed punches. 
  • Able to use the sideline as a weapon in coverage. Awareness helps him narrow the catch window.
  • He’s a ball-hawk. Surtain thrives at the catch-point and is always a threat to make a play on the ball.
  • Aggressive tackler who hits with a mean streak and isn’t afraid of getting down and dirty in the run-game. 
  • Surtain has the speed to keep up with any receiver in the league as well as the size and IQ to be a menace at the top of routes. He may be the most complete CB prospect in recent memory.
Weaknesses: 
  • While aggressive, his tackling is inconsistent. He tries to strip the ball a lot which can lead to all-or-nothing play. He’ll constantly look to grab and then drag down, rather than just wrapping players up. He will need to develop the wrapping technique at the next level if he doesn’t want to be missing tackles. 
  • His flexibility and hip movement could be better and it will mean speedy, quick-breaking receivers on certain routes will get early separation on him.  
  • Struggles to use his physical side when breaking blocks in the running game and again, is very inconsistent with block shedding. 

What he could bring to the Eagles: 

Patrick Surtain is arguably the best cornerback in the draft this year and the Eagles have to be monitoring him closely as a guy they could pick up at 6th overall. It’s quite clear the Eagles are majorly lacking talent in the secondary and other than Darius Slay, we don’t have another outside corner on the roster. 

 
Surtain would be an unbelievable CB2 to partner Slay and he would be ready to take Slay’s job at CB1 whenever the time comes around. It’s clear that the new defensive coordinator in Philly, Jonathan Gannon, loves to have tall, physical corners who get up close and personal with their matchup at the line of scrimmage, and Surtain fits that profile, whilst having the skill level in other schemes to give Gannon some freedom with the plays he calls. 

No matter what the Eagles do during the rest of free agency, CB will always be at the top of the list for needs and Surtain is an easy choice at #6 if they want to solve that problem with their best draft pick available. 

Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

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