The Dallas Cowboys have the opportunity to draft arguably (not really) the best cornerback in the draft class. He is a former teammate of a current Cowboys corner, Trevon Diggs. That is Alabama’s star cornerback, Patrick Surtain II.
Surtain is about as good a corner as you can find. He has the size and explosiveness to handle the big wideouts, the speed to keep up with the speedsters, and the tackling ability to be effective in the run game.
You won’t find many players more athletic than him. He earned a RAS score of 9.96 out of 10. Only eight players in the 2021 NFL Draft have a higher rating than Surtain.
He got some help from his father, Patrick Surtain, who was a cornerback in the NFL for 11 seasons and was a three-time Pro Bowler with one first-team All-Pro nod. Having those genes definitely helped out.
What impresses me about the younger Surtain is his speed and agility despite his size. He stands at six feet and two inches along with 208 pounds. That is the biggest on this list.
You would think that bigger guys are slower and less agile, but Surtain proved otherwise. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, is very smooth when following receivers, and is beyond explosive.
You can see Surtain leaping for the ball with his 39-inch vertical and 10 foot 11-inch broad jump. That may have been why he knocked down 12 passes and intercepted one this past season.
He is the first cornerback taken in the draft in most mock drafts. That includes being the top corner in Pro Football Focus’ rankings per their mock draft rankings. He is also PFF’s highest-graded corner in college football this past season.
There is no reason to devalue him as the top corner in the draft. That is unless something happens from now until he hears his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell.
At tenth overall, Patrick Surtain II is an excellent choice in terms of talent, need, and potential. The Dallas Cowboys would acquire an immediate starter with All-Pro potential.
There are a lot of intriguing cornerbacks in the draft this year. As we saw last year with Diggs and in 2016 with Anthony Brown, you can find stud corners outside the first round. It will be up to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to make whoever Jerry selects become a star.