Alabama has proved year in and year out that they are the top NFL factory, and 2021 is no different. The Crimson Tide expect to produce several draft selections in the upcoming draft, with cornerback Patrick Surtain II a favorite to be the first Alabama player selected. Son of former All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain Sr., there’s football running through his veins. Patrick Surtain II’s NFL draft stock is already high enough to be a top-15 selection, but could he play himself into the undisputed CB1 of the 2021 class?
Patrick Surtain II NFL Draft Profile
Weight: 202 pounds
Current Year: Junior
Growing up the son of a professional football player meant Surtain was constantly around the sport. He developed into one of the top high school players in Florida, a high school recruit powerhouse, and by the end of his senior year, he was widely considered a top-10 player in the country.
Surtain elected to play at Nick Saban’s Alabama and was rewarded with playing time almost immediately. It’s uncommon for a true freshman to see any time in the Alabama backfield, but Surtain managed to play himself into a rotational role in his first year. As a true freshman, he played in 15 games with 37 tackles, one interception, seven pass deflections, and a forced fumble. He was an immediate contributor on one of the nation’s best defenses.
In his second season, Surtain played opposite of 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs. They formed one of the most dangerous cornerback duos in the nation, and Surtain became the name to watch in the 2021 cornerback class. In his second year, he played 12 games, registering 42 tackles, two interceptions, eight pass deflections, a fumble recovery, and three forced fumbles. After the season, it was clear Surtain was a special player, and many expect him to be the first cornerback selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Surtain struggles against Florida playmakers
Patrick Surtain II struggled to cover the Florida pass catchers for most of the night. Probably his worst performance of the season. Admittedly, Kyle Pitts has been the best offensive player in the country, and Kadarius Toney has played himself into the first-round conversation. Still, when Surtain is also expected to be a first-round pick and potentially the first cornerback selected, you would’ve liked to see a better showing.
Surtain fuels Alabama’s defensive dominance
Alabama’s defense was unbothered by the Arkansas offense. On the night, they allowed three total points. The Arkansas offense rarely looked his way and barely targeted him. Ultimately, he registered one pass deflection and two tackles. He should have a busier night when he faces the high-volume Florida passing attack in the SEC Championship.
Surtain leads Alabama defense to impressive showing
The LSU Tigers are a far cry from what they were last year when they were the uncontested best team in college football. Alabama acknowledged this and took their frustrations from last year out in a 55-17 slaughter. Patrick Surtain II was rarely looked at, much less thrown at, in the game. He still managed a pass deflection but recorded no other stats.
Patrick Surtain II up and down against Auburn’s strong receivers, NFL draft stock remains unchanged
Overall, it was a strong Iron Bowl for Surtain. He started the game with a tackle for loss after quickly dissecting a screen pass. However, later in the first half, he was beaten deep by Auburn WR Seth Williams but was bailed out by a drop. NFL scouts will either brush it off as a poor rep against a fellow NFL prospect, or that single rep will lead to larger concerns about Surtain’s long speed. Patrick Surtain’s NFL Draft stock has not yet moved in the wake of his latest performance.
Surtain strong versus Kentucky
When playing against a run-dominant team like Kentucky, defensive backs are predisposed to fewer targets than normal. With a player like Patrick Surtain II, those opportunities dwindle even more. Despite this, Surtain was still able to break-up a pass and register two tackles on the day. His next game against Auburn features two NFL-caliber wide receivers and a quarterback willing to air it out. Expect more action and a more productive game from Surtain.
First house call for Patrick Surtain II in dominant win over Mississippi State
Alabama was one of the nation’s worst defense through the first games but flipped that narrative over the last two weeks. The Crimson Tide beat the Bulldogs 41-0, shutting out Mississippi State’s offense. Surtain ended the scoring with a pick-6 late in the fourth quarter to push Alabama’s lead to 41. It was his first interception of the year.
Surtain tested against Tennessee, passes with flying colors
The Volunteers hosted the Crimson Tide expecting to move the ball up and down the field. However, Alabama had other plans. Surtain led the way blanketing his side of the field, forcing multiple incompletions, and registering four tackles, one of which was behind the line of scrimmage. In back-to-back games, teams have tested Surtain, and he’s risen to the occasion.
Physical Surtain handles elite Georgia receivers
In his game against Georgia’s strong WR unit, Surtain was finally thrown at more than twice. He had a key pass breakup on George Pickens late in the game. However, Georgia fans will tell you it was pass interference. He also produced five tackles on the day. I’m sure he was happy to see some action in coverage finally.
Surtain productive in shootout against Ole Miss
The Alabama defense has not been nearly as dominant as we’re used to them being. Ole Miss managed to score 48 on the Crimson Tide as QB Matt Corral threw for 365 yards and two touchdowns on a 75% completion percentage. Patrick Surtain II totaled six tackles despite being targeted two times all game, giving up one reception.
New game, same results for Surtain
Once again, Surtain spent most of his day away from the football. Texas A&M made it a point to avoid him at all costs. He registered one tackle and a pass deflection. In his next four games, he faces some of the top SEC passing offenses and should be tested much more than he has in the first two games this season.
Surtain quiet in season opener
Unlike most positions, going unnoticed in a game for a cornerback can usually be considered a good thing. Surtain was rarely targeted by Missouri and only registered a single tackle for the game. Games like this will happen for the Crimson Tide’s top corners, as inferior teams don’t believe they can throw at him. This is the downside that comes with being an elite cornerback.
Patrick Surtain II’s NFL Draft fits
Surtain possesses elite length and a high football IQ, and teams will love the person as much as the player. He projects as a boundary corner who would excel in a more zone-heavy scheme instead of a team that predominantly runs man coverage; however, he expects any team with a need at cornerback to consider him early in the first round. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos make the most sense, as they should be selecting in the 10-15 range, the sweet spot for Patrick Surtain II in the NFL Draft.