While the start of the 2021 NFL Draft is next week, it's still anyone's guess as to how the draft will turn out, especially for the Cowboys, who hold the No. 10 overall pick.
The staff of DallasCowboys.com has tried to narrow down a few names that could be targets for Dallas, either with the current pick or perhaps a trade. Today's featured player is Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
- Name: Patrick Surtain II
- Position: Cornerback
- College: Alabama
- Height/Weight: 6-2/205
- Did You Know? Patrick's dad, Patrick Sr., had an 11-year NFL career at cornerback (1998-2008) and was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Miami Dolphins.
Where He's Projected: Widely considered a top-15 pick, various mock drafts have slotted Surtain at No. 10 to the Cowboys quite often, probably more than any other player. That said, the Cowboys haven't tipped their hand publicly, and there's also no guarantee Surtain – a consensus All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season – will even be available at 10 Thursday night. He and South Carolina standout Jaycee Horn are generally regarded as the top two cornerbacks in this year's class.
How He Helps The Cowboys: Dallas has made no secret that upgrading the defense is a major priority. The Cowboys could plug in a playmaker at any of the three levels, but cornerback is arguably their biggest need in terms of depth. Re-signing Jourdan Lewis to a three-year deal was important, but the defense also lost four-year starter Chidobe Awuzie to the Bengals in free agency.
The Cowboys view 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs as a cornerstone player in the secondary. Diggs' college teammate, Surtain, would add to that foundation. He's everything you might expect from the son of a star NFL cornerback: fundamentally sound, consistent, productive in man-to-man and zone coverages.
At Tuesday's pre-draft press conference, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy made a general statement about playing more aggressively on defense next season. The 6-foot-2 Surtain has the frame to disrupt receivers at the line of scrimmage in press coverage, where he excelled at Alabama for the 2020 national champions. He's talented and technically precise enough to be a first-year starter for the Cowboys -- or any team that drafts him, for that matter.
Bucky's Bottom Line: "Patrick Surtain is a steady playmaker on the island with a refined set of tools that makes him a scheme-friendly fit as CB1. As a high IQ defender with outstanding instincts, awareness and ball skills, the Alabama standout plays like a 10-year veteran with multiple Pro Bowls on his resume. With most teams looking for a "plug-and-play" option at cornerback, Surtain is the most complete CB1 in the class with a loaded toolbox that should make him a star as a pro." – Bucky Brooks
Fans of The Draft Show can enter the Free To Play Draft Pick Challenge presented by DraftKings alongside the hosts for a chance to win two 2021 season tickets! Entry Period April 14-29, 2021, US residents, 21+. See Official Rules & submit your picks at https://united.dallascowboys.com/DraftPickChallenge/