Patrick Surtain was a 5'11" defensive back out of the University of Southern Mississippi. He was named the Conference USA Player of the Year by Football News as a senior. Miami chose him in the second round of the 1998 NFL Entry Draft with the 44th overall pick.
As a rookie, Surtain donned the number 23 and appeared in every game on special teams and occasional nickel and dime coverage. He finished the year with 28 tackles and two interceptions as Miami finished 10-6, nabbing a wild card berth and eventual victory over the Buffalo Bills, 24-17 before getting blown out by the Denver Broncos, 38-3.
In 1999, Surtain again played in every game for the Dolphins, starting six at the left cornerback position. He collected two more interceptions along with 37 tackles and his first two NFL sacks, both in a week 16 loss to the Washington Redskins, 21-10. Miami finished third in the AFC East with a 9-7 record, but still managed a wildcard win over the Seattle Seahawks, 20-17. The following week the Dolphins bowed out with a 62-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Dan Marino's last NFL game.
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2000 would see Surtain start every game at left cornerback. He made 53 tackles along with five interceptions and two fumble recoveries as Miami won the AFC East title with an 11-5 record. After a 23-17 wildcard victory over the Indianapolis Colts, the Dolphins were easily dispatched by the Oakland Raiders, 27-0.
In 2001, Surtain equalled his prior career high with 53 tackles, also making three interceptions as the Dolphins qualified for the wildcard round at 11-5. The Baltimore Ravens made easy work of Miami, shutting the Dolphins down, 20-3. He scored his first career NFL touchdown on a 29 yard interception return in a week seven 23-6 victory against the Carolina Panthers. He also had his first two interception game in a week 15 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, 21-14.
Surtain would miss two starts due to injury in 2002, but intercepted a then career high six passes. He returned one of them 40 yards for his second career touchdown, in a week six 24-22 victory over the Denver Broncos. He also collected 59 tackles and was selected as a first-team All-Pro, appearing in his first Pro Bowl after the season. Miami finished 9-7, but missed the playoffs.
2003 would see Surtain pick off a career high seven passes, including two in a week four 23-10 victory over the New York Giants and two more in a week seven 26-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers. He also made 53 tackles as Miami finished 10-6 on the year. Surtain was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.
In 2004, Surtain made 58 tackles and four interceptions on his way to his third Pro Bowl in as many years. Miami finished at 4-12, only their third losing record since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970.
Just prior to the 2005 NFL Draft, Miami traded Surtain along with a 5th round selection to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2nd and a 5th round selections in 2005. He would play for four more seasons with the Chiefs, making eight interceptions and 195 tackles before Kansas City released him in the 2009 offseason.
Surtain totalled 29 interceptions in 108 career games for Miami, tied with Glenn Blackwood for fourth all-time on the Dolphins. He gained 298 yards and two touchdowns on his pickoff returns, along with 341 tackles and 51 passes knocked down. Along with nearly two dozen other former NFL players, he recently filed a suit against the NFL concerning severe and permanent brain damage they say is linked to concussions suffered on the job.
Who is your choice for the Dolphins best ever defensive back?
Sam Madison (2023 votes)
Jake Scott (1205 votes)
Patrick Surtain (1081 votes)
Tim Foley (36 votes)
Glenn Blackwood (172 votes)
Gerald Small (26 votes)
Brock Marion (148 votes)
Louis Oliver (268 votes)
Dick Anderson (526 votes)
5485 total votes