Largely considered the best corner in the NFL draft, Patrick Surtain fell into the hands of the Denver Broncos with the number nine overall pick. He was a national champion with the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2020, and individually the SEC defensive player of the year that year too. Surtain had 10 pass break ups in 2020 alone. He looked every bit the part when it came to testing at Alabama’s pro day during the off season, and the top ten pick is already getting it done on the big stage on Sundays.
Surtain started as he meant to go on jumping an out route in the preseason against Minnesota and taking it swiftly to the house. A play like that might make a QB think twice about throwing the ball your way, and yesterday, he did it again. This time against the number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence in a 23-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. His coverage was excellent all day. Tested on 5 occasions, he gave up just 30 yards. He did commit a pass interference penalty, but those are always particularly difficult to avoid when a receiver slows down right in front of you as you sprint towards them.
But the interception? Golly. Talk about tracking the ball like a wide receiver, and not only making a fantastic over the shoulder catch, but then keeping your feet inbounds to secure the turnover? That’s a veteran play made by a guy who’s only spent two Sundays in NFL games. The way he presses the receiver towards the sideline, squeezing the window for a completion into almost impossible territory, and then creating the opportunity for himself to pick off the arcing pass from Lawrence had me clapping at the tv.
Sunday was a good day for him, with three tackles, one assisted, and the interception as the cherry on top of a great day of coverage. He’s built ready for the NFL, and I remember watching that Bama pro day thinking man that’s an NFL corner right there. The Broncos got a good one, and to see highlight plays like that from your rookie corner in a one on one situation with a top NFL receiver only confirms that. He’s big, physical, and holds a real presence against NFL receivers. Great to see the top 10 talent putting on a show after giving up a TD in week 1.
We were generally high on the Broncos on our weekly podcast as a team who drafted tremendously well in the off season, and Javonte Williams, along with Surtain, are proving us right on that take, early and often.
Williams had 64 yards on 13 carries on the ground against the Jags, averaging 4.9 yards a carry. The bulldozing running back is another top player on our watchlist, and again impressed tremendously in the pre season. Things are looking good for the Denver Broncos. 2-0, off to a flying start.