football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft

Don’t Minimize Patrick Surtain II’s Potential Because Broncos Passed On QB

  • The Draft Network
  • August 19, 2021
  • Share

With the first week of preseason games in the books, it's time to overreact. A 15-yard pass play? Go wild. A former UDFA reaches the century mark against a “should-be” dominant defense’s third unit? Set your hair on fire. It’s all normal proceedings as we mosey our way through the shortened slate of preseason games, but where do we draw the line on over or underreactions toward first-year players or backend depth players looking for a role?

Let’s start at corner and with recent top-10 selection Patrick Surtain II, who recently became the Denver Broncos’ newest addition to arguably the league’s most dynamic secondary.

Heck of a play, right? Not bad for the kid’s debut. 

Along with Carolina’s Jaycee Horn, Surtain was the cream of the crop in defensive secondary talent in the 2021 class. However, Broncos faithful, and many others, have gone blind to the potential—and now on-field success—of Surtain, instead choosing to focus on the what-ifs and “what could have beens” following the exciting preseason debuts of Chicago’s Justin Fields and New England’s Mac Jones—both of whom were available when Denver found itself on the clock in April, and both of whom were looked upon as potential franchise saviors following a lackluster season from Drew Lock last fall. 

Folks, in my best 2014 Aaron Rodgers impression: “R-E-L-A-X.”

As good as Fields and Jones looked, it’s been a week of preseason games and there is a long, long, way to go before anyone begins to make any sort of assumptions on the who’s who of the 2021 class. While we are years away from any talk of engaging in a “re-draft of the 2021 class,” I beg you, Broncos faithful, to ease the reigns and appreciate the dynamo of an athlete general manager George Paton selected with the ninth overall selection, rather than focusing on how exactly a first-year talent was going to lead Denver back to the postseason. 

At 6-foot-2 with NFL All-Pro lineage coursing through his veins, Surtain II checks every box scouts dream of when creating their ideal cornerback prospect in a lab. With fluid hips and short, choppy steps to mirror receivers during the opening moments of reps, Surtain’s floor as a premier cover corner prospect is higher than any in his class—and in recent memory. His football IQ with understanding which levels of physicality will draw flags while also remaining effective enough to cause frustration and disruption offer the next level of savvy that his game presents. 

In Denver, Surtain will be presented with every opportunity to succeed. Surrounded by talented veterans in Justin Simmons, Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan, and Ronald Darby, the obstacles faced by a first-year corner in the NFL look to be hurdled by Surtain, as his ability to remain neutral when thrown into the fire often sees results similar to his house call against the Minnesota Vikings in his professional debut.

"I expect a lot out of him [Surtain],” Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said postgame. “We only played him at corner, we didn't play him inside at all. I wanted him to just play one position today… but you've got to go out there and make the plays, and he did."

While questions surely remain on the offensive side of the football for Denver—where the ultimate success, or lack thereof, this season hinges upon the execution at quarterback—if Saturday’s performance from the former Alabama standout was a sign of things to come, wishes of a first-year signal-caller at No. 9 overall will be a long-forgotten memory if Surtain II continues along his path to NFL stardom.

Filed In

Related Articles

Written By

The Draft Network