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Sage Surratt: What the Lions are getting in their UDFA wide receiver – Lions Wire

Normally the undrafted free agent class doesn’t stand much of a chance to make an immediate impact on a roster. The 2021 Detroit Lions are an exception, especially at the wide receiver position.
In signing Sage Surratt from Wake Forest, the Lions landed a wideout with a legitimate chance of making the final 53-man roster as a rookie. He’ll have to compete with fellow UDFA Jonathan Adams, of course, but there is room in the den for both–potentially.
Here’s what the Lions are getting in Surratt.
6-2, 209 pounds
Surratt opted out of playing in 2020 and his 2019 season ended early with a bad shoulder injury, so it’s been some time since he played football. When he was on the field for the Deamon Deacons, he was a very productive, widebodied receiving threat.
He was a high school basketball star, good enough to get recruited by North Carolina, but Surratt chose football. His basketball background is obvious in his receiving game. Surratt uses his frame and long reach very well, shielding off defenders and mastering the high-point and contested-catch opportunities.
It’s a good thing Surratt is comfortable making contested catches and dealing with defenders, because he’s not fast. The 4.7 40-yard dash he recorded is slower than how he plays, but speed is not amongst his list of assets. Surratt is also fairly straight-linish as a route runner, which makes him vulnerable to press corners who aren’t blasted away by his strength.
The lack of athletic dynamism shows in his testing profile.

RAS courtesy Kent Platte (@MathBomb)
In that regard, Surratt has some similarities to Quintez Cephus. But Surratt is better-suited for playing outside; Cephus, last year’s Day 3 pick, is craftier with his routes and quicker with his feet in shorter spaces despite being almost exactly the same size as Surratt. There is less nuance to Surratt’s game. He’s more physical with the ball in the air but does that more on the outside and sidelines than over the middle, which is where Cephus is at his best.
For Surratt to stick with the Lions, he’ll need to prove he can get free with releases off the line and also make things happen after the catch. Surratt is physical with the ball in his hands and tough to bring down, but NFL defenses are bigger/faster than what he faced in college. If he can add value on special teams, that would certainly help his cause.
Some highlights to get a feel for Surratt’s game:
Sage Surratt is fun to watch.
— Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) October 18, 2019

Sage Surratt (6-3 215) opted out of the 2020 season after posting over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in just 9 games last year. Here’s every 1-on-1 rep he had during #SeniorBowl practices:
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 29, 2021

WAKE IS WOKE PEOPLE. WAKE … IS … WOKE@WakeFB pouring it on as Sage Surratt adds another TD.
— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) November 24, 2018

#WakeForest WR #14 Sage Surratt can go up and get it. Get those hands out in front!
— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) September 13, 2019

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