It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.
Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.
On Friday, we talked about former quarterback turned linebacker Chazz Surratt, highlighting both his strengths and weaknesses as a player.
The immediate thing that stands out in North Carolina LB Chazz Surratt’s evaluation (also Wake Forest wide receiver Sage Surratt’s brother) is that he played his first three years at UNC as a quarterback. Coming out of high school as North Carolina’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, he had a decorated career as a passer. Unfortunately, that didn’t continue at the collegiate level, but Surratt wouldn’t let it define him.
Switching to LB for the 2019 season, Surratt is still a raw player, but as Marino notes, he has all the tools to be an NFL contributor in this regard.
“I thought he developed really nicely over the last year,” Marino stated in his evaluation of the prospect. “He has all the ability you could want in an off-ball LB. The way he’s built—he has good length and lots of bounce in his step.”
Garnering 6.5 sacks last season, Surratt was also used a lot as a rusher, another positive quality that Marino highlighted.
“He’s really impressive as an athlete,” Marino said. “He had a real natural ability to read the backfield and work into throwing lanes, despite the inexperience at the position, and that’s something that really stuck out to me.”
That coverage ability is extremely important in today’s day and age and it’s something that Surratt looks to have in spades. Yes, he’s not perfect and it’s clear he’s learning the position, but his athleticism and range are exactly where the modern-day LB is headed.
“There were times you tell he was new to the position, and that came a lot with tackling consistency and the types of pursuit angles he would take.”
All that being said, though, Marino seems infatuated by the defensive prospect and for good reason.
“The flashes are so, so exciting. He can really make a big rise on draft boards this season.”
Players Evaluated: Chazz Surratt LB North Carolina, Wyatt Davis IOL Ohio State, CJ Verdell RB Oregon, Trey Dean CB Florida, Charlie Kolar TE Iowa State, Thayer Munford OT Ohio State, Damar Hamlin S Pittsburgh, Sean Clifford QB Penn State, Caden Sterns S Texas, Victor Dimukeje EDGE Duke, Thomas Booker DL Stanford