August 10, 2022

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CB Pat Surtain II showcases why he could be among…

2 min read
CB Pat Surtain II showcases why he could be among...

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In early July, ESPN released a series of articles ranking the best players at each position.

After a four-interception rookie year, Pat Surtain II was tabbed as the seventh-best cornerback in the league. But as the story noted, some had even stronger advocates; several high-ranked executives voted Surtain as the top cornerback in the entire league.

Better than Jalen Ramsey, better than Marshon Lattimore, better than Jaire Alexander.

For as good as Surtain looked en route to All-Rookie honors in 2021, that sort of praise seemed perhaps a tad premature.

In the early days of training camp, though, it appears more and more likely that Surtain will cement his place among the league’s best players in 2022.

On Wednesday, Surtain recorded an end-zone pass breakup against Albert Okwuegbunam, and he posted another highlight play on Day 2. On a third-down pass, Surtain leapt into the air and swatted the ball out of Pro Bowl receiver Courtland Sutton’s hands.

“Surtain’s a freak,” tackle Garett Bolles said Thursday. “I’m just going to tell y’all that right now. If you don’t know that, turn on the film. It speaks for itself. I don’t know how you game-plan against a guy like that because he’s just going to eat you alive. I’m grateful he’s on my side.”

Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett praised Surtain’s range, speed and strength — and he said Surtain has looked more comfortable with the new elements of the Broncos’ defensive scheme.

Surtain, while flattered by the ESPN praise, seems prepared to simply keep working.

“I always put high expectations for myself,” Surtain said. “It’s cool hearing it from those type of people, but at the end of the day I’ve got to lock in and focus on what I need to focus on. I can’t worry about the offseason noise. I can’t worry about rankings or none of that. I’ve got to focus on what I need to do at the end of the day.”

Through two days, though, it’s clear Surtain has already made progress from where he started a year ago.

“I definitely feel more comfortable and more confident out there,” Surtain said. “I’m getting prepared and getting my mind ready each and every day. I definitely feel more confident and comfortable.”