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Why Patrick Surtain II believes he'll have a Day 1 impact with the “No. 1 defense in the NFL”

Zac Stevens Avatar
April 30, 2021

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — All-Pro Kyle Fuller. Bryce Callahan. Ronald Darby.

Entering the NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos were stacked at cornerback. After the first round, well, they’re even more stacked with the addition of All-American cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

But don’t expect the Broncos’ first-round cornerback to take a backseat his rookie year.

“I think I could come in Day 1 and just make an impact on the team by my play style, by my play traits,” Surtain told the media, minutes after the Broncos selected him with the ninth-overall pick. “I think I could come in and make an immediate impact.”

“I think I can have a tremendous impact just with my experience and knowledge of the game and my high IQ,” the 21-year old continued. “I think I can get in the playbook and learn it immediately and just make an impact on the field.”

The Broncos agree with the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

“When I got off the phone with the Broncos, the coaches were very excited to have me up there,” Surtain said, wearing a light pink suit with a bowtie. “They talked about how I could fill in a key piece, a key role in their scheme.”

Vic Fangio has a type when it comes to the cornerback he wants in his defense. The 6-foot-2, 208-pound SEC corner fits that mold.

“I think I’m an all-around corner,” Surtain stated. “I can fit in man, zone, anyway you need me. I’m just excited to get in the playbook, understand the scheme and just go at it.”

Among many factors, Surtain pointed to two reasons why he will be able to come in and compete with the Broncos’ veteran cornerbacks already on the roster.

“Going against SEC receivers and going against Alabama receivers — like Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle — it helped me prepare for this moment every day and for the next level,” Surtain stated.

While the jump from college to the NFL is no doubt daunting, of every player in the nation, Surtain may be best suited for it.

Not only did he play top talent in the SEC, for three years at Alabama, the newest Bronco got to compete against some of the best receivers in the country every single day at practice. The past two years, including the 2021 draft, Alabama has had four receivers selected in the first round, including, of course, Jerry Jeudy.

Additionally, Patrick Surtain II can thank his father, Patrick Surtain, for his quick transition to the NFL.

“Of course, he’s a 12-year pro so just gaining his insight, gaining his insight on things I think it helped me a lot on the field,” the newest Bronco said about his father. “I feel like his game translated a lot to my game. Just learning from him. Just him teaching me different techniques. It definitely helped shape me up for the next level.”

Much like his son, Patrick Surtain was his conference’s Defensive Player of the Year his final year of college before going on to the NFL and earning three trips to the Pro Bowl along with two All-Pro honors as a cornerback.

Patrick Surtain II said he and his father talk “a lot” about who is the better player.

“I don’t try to be too cocky about it because he did his thing. I still got to reach him. I got to reach that stepping stone,” Surtain said. “But it’s just a start for me. It’s just a whole new journey. I’m just excited to start to compete.”

The new Bronco won’t just lean on his father’s insight, but he’ll also look to the veteran cornerbacks in Denver.

“I’ll benefit a lot learning from those guys,” he stated. “Very experienced guys in the NFL. Just picking their brain, learning from them each and every day. I think it would be a benefit for me.”

Surtain isn’t just joining a loaded cornerback room. Outside of cornerback, he’s joining a defense with Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, just to name a few.

“It’s a very stacked defense,” he stated without hesitation. “I can’t wait to compete with those guys at a high level each and every day. I’m just very excited. I think when you look at it, when it’s all said and done, we’re going to be the No. 1 defense in the NFL when it’s all said and done.”

The No. 9 pick has aspirations to be No. 1 on the field individually and as a defense.

“I’m trying to be known as one of the best in the game,” Surtain stated minutes after donning a Denver Bronco hat.

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