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Cornerback Draft Prospects Carry Strong NFL Bloodlines

Patrick Surtain II, Jaycee Horn, Asante Samuel, Jr. all have NFL fathers

Former Chiefs and Dolphins CB Patrick Surtain Sr. (left) is helping his son Patrick Surtain II prepare for the NFL draft.
Former Chiefs and Dolphins CB Patrick Surtain Sr. (left) is helping his son Patrick Surtain II prepare for the NFL draft.

Patrick Surtain II was a young child during his father's NFL heyday, so live memories from those games are fleeting.

But the Alabama cornerback prospect is still familiar with Surtain Sr.'s impressive run as a lockdown cover man with the Dolphins in the early 2000s.

"I've looked at his highlights plenty of times," Surtain II said. "They've got some of his highlights, some of his games on YouTube. His game and my game are very similar, because we like to press and we are very smart out there, understanding opposing teams' tendencies."

This year's draft has multiple cornerback prospects that carry strong bloodlines. Surtain could be the first one taken, as he is getting Top-10 buzz.

His main competition could be Jaycee Horn, the South Carolina standout who is the son of former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn. Another early pick will be Asante Samuel, Jr., the son of the former Patriots and Eagles cornerback.

While Surtain and Samuel play the same position as their fathers, Horn was unique in his family when he transitioned over to defense.

"My younger brother, Jacob, plays receiver," Horn said. "My older brother played receiver. My dad. I'm the only guy on the defensive side. It's crazy, my dad kind of pushed it that way, just because of the aggression I had growing up. My ball skills, he always harped on, that if I could do that at the cornerback position, one day I would make a lot of money. We sometimes go back and forth, telling my dad, he wouldn't be able to get open on me. We go back and forth about it a little bit."

The relationship between father and son has been a hot topic for all three players during the pre-draft process. Surtain, Sr. coached Surtain II in high school and is lending him advice about this stage in his career.

"I tell him, 'You're a professional now,'" Surtain, Sr. told Touchdown Alabama. "It's your job, so go in there and be professional, be workmanlike. Take coaching. Study film like no other. And just go out there and use your God-given abilities."

Surtain II was asked if there are any downsides to having his father as a coach, but finds it exclusively beneficial.

"The best part is learning from him each and every day, taking his knowledge with me and carrying it on," Surtain II said. "He's a great coach. He wants you to do better, perfect your craft. When you're around him, you understand he wants what's best for you, and he'll coach you like it. At the end of the day it's all love."

Samuel, Jr. is about the same size as his father – 5-foot-10, 185 pounds -- and is aiming to prove he can be an outside cornerback. While Dad persevered through similar questions to pave out an 11-year Pro Bowl career, he is taking his cues from Samuel, Jr. about how much advice to give.

"He kind of wants me to do my own thing," Samuel, Jr. said. "Learn how I learn and be self-oriented, do the things I want to do. He will piggyback off what I want to do."

Surtain, Sr. went in the second round of the 1998 NFL draft, Samuel the fourth round in 2003 and Horn the fifth round in 1996. All three sons should get drafted higher, but aren't interested in bragging rights.

"There's no bet," Samuel said with a smile. "He just wants to see me do good."

Surtain II, Horn and Samuel, Jr. know this is the start of their journey. Their fathers are the ones who have already left their legacies in the NFL.

"I've still got to make a name for myself," Surtain II said. "It doesn't matter which round or which pick you go to. You've still got to play football regardless."

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