2021 NFL Draft Prospects with Dads Who Played Pro Football
Some top young players will be looking to take up the family business
Now that the college football season has wrapped up and the NFL is in the midst of their playoffs, the 2021 draft isn’t far away. There are many prospects that teams will look at, but a few have an advantage that the others don’t. Those are the young players who not only stood out in college but also had fathers who previously played in the NFL, including these three:
Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback (Father- Patrick Surtain): Surtain II is one of the best secondary prospects in the upcoming draft. He turned into a star after playing the past three years with Alabama, totaling 116 tackles, 24 passes defended and four interceptions. He has elite size at 6’2” and 202 pounds, which will allow him to match up well with the hulking wide receivers that are so favored in the professional game. He is forgoing his senior season after being a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back. He is widely coveted; so much so that he may be the first cornerback to come off the board in the first round.
Surtain II’s dad, Patrick Surtain, was also a talented cornerback. In 11 NFL seasons (1998–2008) with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, he was a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All Pro. He accumulated 547 total tackles, 37 interceptions and 7.5 sacks. He was occasionally overshadowed by Miami teammate Sam Madison, who played the corner position opposite him, but he ultimately established his own legacy in the NFL that his son will look to build upon.
Asante Samuel Jr., Cornerback (Father- Asante Samuel): Playing at nearby Florida State, Samuel Jr. also made a name for himself at cornerback over the past few years. In 31 games, he had 97 tackles, four interceptions and 29 passes defensed. At 5’10”, he doesn’t have elite size, but his speed and ball-hawking skills have garnered significant attention. He did opt out of the remainder of the 2020 season right after Thanksgiving to prepare for the draft and will be skipping his senior season in exchange for the pros. His gambling on early entry could well result in being picked in an early round.
His father, Asante Samuel, already established the family named with an outstanding 11-year run (2003–2013) with the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and was First-Team All Pro in 2007. His 51 interceptions rank 32nd all-time in NFL history, and he led the league twice. He also had 164 passes defensed, also leading the league twice. Although that’s a newer stat that has only been tracked in more recent times, his career total is sixth in NFL history.
Jaycee Horn, Cornerback (Father- Joe Horn): There must be something in the water with all of the NFL progeny playing cornerback, but here is another excellent prospect. Horn spent the past three years starring at South Carolina as their shutdown back. In 30 games, he had 101 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and 23 passes defended. He is also giving up his final year of eligibility with the Gamecocks to jump to the pros, but many projections have him going in the first round. His size (6’1” and 205 pounds) and aggressive playing style make him an attractive option, much like Surtain II.
Perhaps he developed his skills covering his dad Joe in the backyard growing up. His father was a standout receiver over 12 seasons (1996–2007) in the NFL with the Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Falcons. He had four 1,000+ receiving yard seasons and four Pro Bowl selections. Overall, he grabbed 603 catches for 8,744 yards and 58 scores. He spent years terrorizing cornerbacks and now his son will attempt to return the favor when he starts his own career.