The NY Jets made a number of additions to their practice squad on Wednesday with the vast majority of those signed having spent the summer with the organization. But there was one newcomer.
Former Minnesota Vikings third-round pick Chazz Surratt was among those added to the practice squad this week. Surratt was a third-round pick in last year's NFL Draft and a surprise cut this summer by his now-former team.
A former quarterback at North Carolina, Surratt switched to linebacker as a junior as he eyed the NFL. In two years as a defensive starter at UNC, Surratt more than proved that he had what it took to be a linebacker at the next level which is why the Vikings originally drafted him 78th overall just 16 months ago.
Needless to say, things didn't work out for Surratt in Minnesota, though. The 25-year-old struggled to find playing time as a rookie as it became apparent that he was more of a developmental project than the team initially believed.
A new regime led by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell had no ties to Surratt, and after an underwhelming summer, decided to release him along with two other third-round picks from that same ill-fated draft class (Kellen Mond and Wyatt Davis).
Surratt may not have worked out in Minnesota, but he could be the perfect player in the perfect situation with the Jets.
Chazz Surratt is an ideal developmental linebacker for the NY Jets
Surratt remains raw as an overall linebacker and is still very new to the position, but one thing he has working in his favor is his natural blend of size and athleticism.
At 6-foot-2, 229 pounds, Surratt is a speeding bullet who's not afraid to drop the hit stick in the open field. He has the range to cover sideline-to-sideline and was used as an effective blitzer at North Carolina.
He led UNC in tackles in each of his two seasons as a starter and racked up a whopping 12.5 as an off-ball linebacker from 2020-2021. Surratt's biggest issue to this point has been his inability to shed blocks consistently.
Surratt is far too often redirected by blockers and almost seems willing to take on blocks instead of avoiding them. That's what kept him off the field in Minnesota and it's why he's on a practice squad right now and not an active roster.
He's also still very new to the position and isn't quite comfortable in his role. Surratt is more of a refined athlete than a true NFL linebacker. That said, his skill set is tailor-made for this Robert Saleh defense.
Does this mean Surratt is going to become a star in the NFL? Of course not. There's a reason the Vikings moved on from him after just 16 months.
But he's the type of player you want to stash on your practice squad. He's a developmental athlete who should be a much better fit in his new defensive scheme.
Don't be surprised if this isn't the last you hear of Chazz Surratt this year.