Our Scouting Report Series continues where we break down the top prospects for the 2021 NFL draft. Today, we are talking about an interesting quarterback-turned-linebacker prospect. Before you go on, be sure to check out any of our previous scouting reports you might have missed!
|Justin Fields||N/A||Ja’Marr Chase||Kyle Pitts||Penei Sewell||N/A||N/A||N/A||Patrick Surtain II||Jevon Holland|
|Zach Wilson||DeVonta Smith||Caleb Farley|
Measurables and Numbers
Weight: 227 pounds
A look at Chazz Surratt’s College Performance
Surratt was a 4-star athlete from East Lincoln High School in Denver, North Carolina. He was a 2-time first-team all-state selection at QB and was named Parade National Player of the Year during his senior season. Surratt received interest from many Power 5 schools as a dual-threat QB but ultimately elected to stay close to home and attend North Carolina.
After redshirting in 2016 behind Mitchell Trubisky, Surratt took over as the starter in 2017. He didn’t have the best year and ultimately lost his starting job the next offseason to freshman QB Sam Howell. Surratt asked the coaching staff to move to the defensive side of the ball and became a starting linebacker a year later in 2019 when he led the team with 115 tackles. He also recorded 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, an interception, and 3 pass break-ups. Surratt was also selected to the first team Al-ACC.
In 2020, Surratt put up equally impressive numbers with 91 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 interception, and 3 pass break-ups, nearly matching his numbers from the season before in 2 fewer games.
Current Draft Projection
PFF – 89th overall/LB8
The Draft Network – 53rd overall/LB7
Surratt possesses elite athleticism. He was a 2-way player in high school and was recruited as a dual-threat QB. His range and mobility are outstanding. Surratt can change directions fluidly and has no problem keeping up with tight ends, running backs, or chasing down quarterbacks.
Guy that has impressed me most so far early on in Summer Scouting is #UNC LB Chazz Surratt.— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) June 8, 2020
⬆️ Relentless play personality
⬆️ High-level athlete
⬆️ 1st year LB; converted QB
Will break him down soon on the Journey To The Draft https://t.co/eDpgJLJRyX#CarolinaFootball pic.twitter.com/4cXmfL7foK
After losing his starting QB job, he had a conversation with head coach Mack Brown about switching positions to linebacker so he could help the team win games. After Brown agreed, Surratt told Brown that he would become an NFL linebacker and he set out to do so. Within a year he was named the captain of the North Carolina defense. His work ethic is unparalleled and his leadership is evident both on and off the field. He has an extremely high motor and loves to compete.
Surratt diagnoses route combinations quickly, especially on screen plays. His QB background allows him to identify what the offense is doing quickly and react in the right way. He is good at hitting his landmarks in zone coverage and can run with anyone in man-to-man coverage.
Surratt dominates opposing running backs when rushing the passer. He had a 22% pass rush win rate, second of all linebackers in this class. North Carolina used his pass-rushing ability frequently, as should coaches at the NFL level.
#UNC LB Chazz Surratt(@Chazz_Surratt12) blows right by Rhamondre Stevenson in one on one drills. He is a pursuit style LB who can blitz, fill the gaps, and drop back into coverage. Surratt could be a major play for the #Eagles with the 38th overall pick. @seniorbowl @4thandJawn pic.twitter.com/A61eWuIuei— AJ Torres (@ajtorres1230) January 27, 2021
Run Game Trigger
Surratt diagnoses run plays quickly and triggers downhill violently to finish running backs. If he is kept clean, running backs don’t stand a chance.
Talk about filling a gap. Chazz Surratt eats the RB on fourth down. pic.twitter.com/QrSfJJH2zd— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) December 12, 2020
Year to Year Growth
If Surratt’s 2019 season was impressive, his growth to 2020 was even more impressive. He improved in nearly every aspect in his senior season. From tackling to pursuit angels to zone drops, Surratt may be one of the biggest risers in this class.
Surratt will need to gain functional strength at the next level. His athleticism is elite but his strength is below average for a linebacker. This really shows when he attempts to shed blocks in the running game. As good as he is when he can trigger into an unblocked window, he struggles mightily once an offensive lineman gets his hands on him.
Noted good linebacker, Chazz Surratt pic.twitter.com/9z5oV9nPyw— Establish The Run (@JEDRICKWlLLS) January 23, 2021
Surratt is still a very raw linebacker prospect. He has a tremendous amount of upside due to his athleticism and work ethic, but there are times his lack of experience shows through. Teams are willing to work with inexperienced, young players, but at 24 years old Surratt is not exactly a young prospect. Teams have to wonder how many peak playing years he will have once he adjusts to the NFL level.
Chazz Surratt possesses elite athleticism but his lack of experience and his age combined with the amount of linebacker talent in this draft will likely see him fall into the late 2nd or 3rd round.
Fit With The Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have neglected the linebacker position for far too long. While Surratt might have some learning to do before he gets onto the field for most teams, he would be a day 1 starter in Philadelphia. As an off-ball linebacker, Surratt would bring immense value to the team covering tight ends, something that linebackers will be expected to do more frequently in defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s Cover 2 scheme. He would also be a plus as a pass rusher should the Eagles choose to utilize more blitzing linebackers in their new scheme.