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NFL Draft Profile: JT Surratt

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The big man was probably one the very few bright spots from last year's defensive line. After getting a somewhat surprising invitation to the NFL Combina, Surratt has put himself in a position to get drafted.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

USC Career in Review:

In his senior year, he was the lone returning starter on the defensive line and was named one of the four permanent captains by his peers. Even though he only posted 3 sacks in his career here, the first three years he had help from some pretty awesome players. Take a look at one of them here. But I digress; despite the fact that he received little to no help last year from his defensive counterparts, Surratt continued to play hard week in and week out. During his time at Carolina, Surratt developed from a 2 (Rivals) or 3 (Scout) star prospect into a steady hand on a (mostly) solid SEC defense.

NFL Combine Numbers and Measurables:

Height Weight Arm Length Hand Size 40 Yard Dash Broad Jump Bench Press Reps (225 pounds)
6'1'' 304 pounds 32 inches 10 1/8'' 5.19 seconds 106 inches 29 reps

Strengths:

JT Surratt always come off to me as a guy who would never quit. He was not the most talented pass rusher, but he was one of those strong high energy guys off the ball who played through the whistle and was a very emotional player. Seemingly one of the few emotional players on last years defense. There is a particular moment from the UGA game this year that I think encompasses JT Surratt as a player. After a Dylan Thompson interception, deep in Gamecock territory and late in the 4th quarter, the Gamecock defense needed a last stand to at worst send the game to overtime. Well, on third and goal JT came up with this big time play and well, you know the rest. Being very aware and keeping his motor running high late into a physical game, Surratt came up with a huge play to help seal the USC victory. He also has good hand strength and is able to fight off blocks. Does a good job of tracking the ball carrier and takes good angles within the interior. Oh and there was that time he annihilated Florida's runningback. That was fun.

Weaknesses:

Despite his high motor and solid strength, Surratt still struggles a bit rushing the passer. He often will not use his hands correctly during a pass rush and will not threaten the offensive guard's backside edge. And despite his initial high motor, if he senses the play is lost, he sometimes will stop his pursuit and gets fewer effort sacks than he should. While his initial pursuit is good, he can get lost easily in the secondary part of the pursuit and does not cut off cutback lanes well.

NFL Draft Projection:

JT Surratt was a solid player in college. Not necessarily the most talented, but for the most part solid and had his share of big plays. He definitely was not done any favors with the way the defensive line played in 2014, and I still don't think he gets enough credit for his talent. In fact, his draft projection may not truly reflect his true talent. I could see him being a Travian Robertson type player in the pros. Solid, productive, yet not flashy at all. Look for Surratt to be taken in the late rounds. Probably mid 6 to 7th rounds. If he is not drafted, I would bet he'd be one of the first college players signed to a free agent contract.