Surtain rarely ever makes a bad play but when he allows a completion or misses a tackle you can likely attribute it to his athletic ability. Surtain has adequate explosiveness, and for someone as big as him, displays only adequate upper body and grip strength. He doesn’t often jam at the line because his jams don’t disrupt the wide receiver at the line of scrimmage as well as you’d like. Strike location and strike timing have an impact on jam effectiveness but these have little to do with ball carriers breaking free from his tackles.
In off coverage, he can struggle to cover short and intermediate routes because of his adequate explosiveness that prevents him closing windows of separation and making plays on the ball. In contested catch situations, he struggles to make plays on the ball because he can’t jump as high nor are his arms long enough to disrupt the pass catcher.
These are relatively small issues but if a team is going to draft Surtain II high, they have to be aware of some of his athletic shortcomings. Right? Right??
I’d like to clear up something. Surtain is more than fine in zone coverage. He displays good instincts and is very good at communicating movement in the defensive backfield in Cover 3. However, him reading the quarterback in zone causes him to move too far deep in his zone allowing underneath completions; these are routes he should be overlapping but doesn’t.
As mentioned Surtain is more than solid at playing in zone coverage, these are kinks that will fix themselves with proper coaching.
Now for the best part, who’s the right pick?