20 Sep 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Summer Scouting Notes: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina

Chazz Surratt Photo by Andy Mead

Redshirt Senior| 6’3” 230 lbs | February 16, 1997|Denver, NC

A mobile left-handed quarterback who became an All-Conference linebacker after his first season at the position and has all the raw tools of a modern prototype at the position

Chazz Surratt came to North Carolina as a heralded local lefty quarterback prospect and made five starts under center during his redshirt freshman season. But after missing all but one game of his sophomore year due to a four-game suspension and subsequent wrist injury, he decided to focus on his NFL future. He initially wanted to play safety, but his coaches asked him to beef up and play linebacker. And clearly his coaches knew best, as Surratt immediately ascended, becoming a First-Team All-ACC linebacker the runner-up for ACC DPOY. He would have likely been a late day two selection had he declared for the 2020 draft, but he elected to stay at North Carolina to get some more seasoning at the position. His younger brother, Sage Surratt, is a star wide receiver at Wake Forest.

Strengths:

  • Exceptional sideline-to-sideline range
  • Smooth ability to change direction
  • Ideal range for backside pursuit
  • Sees beyond blockers while navigating trash. Simply shimmies past them using his speed and long arms, acting almost as if they aren’t there
  • Gets great depth on zone drops
  • Has an advaned understanding of route recognition
  • Sticky man coverage on running backs and tight ends
  • Confident, hard-charging blitzer. Perhaps because he knows how it feels to be blitzed
  • A true defensive quarterback in all senses

Areas to improve:

  • Gets a little out of control when scraping the front side edge
  • Has a tendency to over-pursue gaps and allow cutback lanes
  • Needs to get more used to the physicality needed from the position on every play
  • Tackles more like a safety than a linebacker (ex. dives at opponents legs or throws a hard far shoulder)
  • Instincts are below average for the position, but did improve noticeably as the season wore on

Injury concerns: 

Tore multiple ligaments in his right wrist while attempting to make a tackle after throwing an interception during his sophomore season. Had surgery to repair what was a lingering wrist problem prior to said season-ending injury.

Way too early projection:

Surratt profiles as a modern weakside NFL coverage linebacker and fits as 4-3 Will or 3-4 Ted. Had he declared for the 2020 draft, he’d likely have been a third-round selection and would be preparing for a sub-package coverage linebacker role. He has massive potential with the ideal frame, length, speed for the position. And his unique perspective in pass coverage should make him an immediate second-level asset for any team. He can have a Fred Warner-like impact if things break right.

What to watch in 2020:

Will Surratt’s fervent growth continue? He was debatably the most improved player in the NCAA from the beginning of last season until the end. How will his tackling technique improve as he gets more and more used to dishing out physical punishment? Will his instincts and run diagnosis continue on an upward trajectory? Most importantly, can he grow into a legitimate interior enforcer? If he does, he has a legitimate shot at being a first-round draft pick next year.

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