Chazz Surratt, LB
School: University of North Carolina | Conference: ACC
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6’3” / 225 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd – 3rd Round
Player Comparison: Zach Cunningham
Chazz Surratt’s college football career has been anything but predictable. After dominating high school football in North Carolina with his brother, Sage, Chazz was recruited to UNC as a quarterback. Unfortunately, he missed most of his sophomore year with torn wrist ligaments. After Mack Brown was hired as UNC’s new head coach, Surratt made the decision to switch to linebacker in order to increase his chances of going to the NFL. Despite the unorthodox move, Surratt excelled at the position. He was named All-ACC First Team in both seasons playing linebacker and was runner-up ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. He’s still a work in progress, but his background as a quarterback and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect.
· Does a good job diagnosing plays and attacking the ball
· Athleticism to pursue ball carriers sideline to sideline
· Active in zone coverage, paying attention to what’s happening in his zone while keeping an eye on the backfield
· Good at timing blitzes and creating pressure on QBs
· Only played linebacker for two seasons and will be 24 when season starts
· Has tendency to leave feet or stop feet on contact, causing missed tackles.
· Must be more physical taking on blockers, disengaging, and making tackles
· Did not play much man coverage in college
Let’s go to the video tape
How He Fits On The Team
The weakness of Washington’s defense in 2020 was the linebacker corps. While they played well in spots, it is clear that an upgrade is needed, especially in coverage and filling gaps in the run defense. While Chazz Surratt is relatively new to the position, he has flashed the ability to perform well in these areas, especially in zone coverage. He definitely will have to improve his technique and physicality, but there is evidence that he could be a reliable starter if he becomes more consistent.
If Surratt’s progress continues, I could see him playing the same role as Kevin Pierre-Louis in Jack Del Rio’s defense. He’s good blitzing off the edge and has the size and athleticism to cover tight ends and running backs. His understanding of route concepts from playing QB could help him with his assignments in man coverage. Pierre-Louis is 30 and will be a free agent this offseason. If he’s not re-signed, a player like Surratt might be an option to replace him. And hey, at the very least, he could be an option to play emergency quarterback.