Chargers Draft

LA Chargers: Patrick Surtain II is a better draft prospect than Jaycee Horn

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: Patrick Surtain II #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up before the College Football Playoff National Championship football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: Patrick Surtain II #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up before the College Football Playoff National Championship football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The CB1 debate has gotten crazier as we’ve gotten closer to the draft. Jaycee Horn is making a late push against Patrick Surtain II for CB1 while Caleb Farley’s stock has fallen due to an injury. At the same time, Northwestern’s Greg Newsome is gaining some steam.

Polls can be skewed, but with about 1,000 votes, 60% of LA Chargers fans preferred Horn over Surtain:

Both are on the board at 13, who are you taking?

— Guilty As Charged Podcast (@GACPodcast17) April 8, 2021

In all likelihood, both will not be on the board at 13. However, it’s a good gauge for how fans may react if the pick at 13 is cornerback. Dallas could make the debate irrelevant by selecting Surtain at 10 like many expect, but it wouldn’t be shocking for them to select Horn either. There have also been rumors about them making a trade up the draft for Florida’s Kyle Pitts.

The Chargers could also put an end to the debate by simply taking an offensive tackle. However, my instincts tell me that they’re going to go for a defensive playmaker in round one, and it may very well be one of Surtain or Horn.

Patrick Surtain’s perceived “lack” of athleticism

This was one of the weirdest narratives that hovered over Alabama’s Pro Day. Many thought Surtain would test poorly athletically.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t exactly expect Surtain to run a blazing fast 40 time either. But he didn’t need to. If he had actually ran a 4.5+ 40 like many expected, I’d still have his Alabama tape to go off of.

But Surtain knocked his Pro Day out of the park, answering Horn’s CB1 challenge directly. At 6’2″ 200, he hit a 4.46 40. Even if one thinks that the Pro Day 40 times have been fishy this year, that’s only about 0.06 seconds slower than what Horn recorded.

Raw Athletic Score is a metric that combines and averages the testing metrics. The numbers for Surtain and Horn speak for themselves:

Current #RAS leaders at CB:

Jaycee Horn 9.99Patrick Surtain 9.97Marco Williams 9.96uJason Pinnock 9.77Ifeatu Melifonwu 9.68Greg Newsome 9.66Robert Rochelle 9.65Nate Hobbs 9.60Paulson Adebo 9.56Eric Stokes 9.38Brandon Stephens 9.21Brandin Echols 9.16Kelvin Joseph 9.03

— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 3, 2021

Surtain finished just 0.02 points behind Horn in RAS. Obviously, that’s the closest anyone came to topping or matching his Pro Day. If someone wants to say that Horn is more athletic for the Brandon Staley scheme, I don’t necessarily have an issue with it. But we have to stop pretending that Surtain is unathletic when he consistently proves otherwise.

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