ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For the sixth year in a row, the Broncos have landed at least one player on the Pro Football Writers of America’s annual All-Rookie Team.
Broncos rookies Pat Surtain II and Javonte Williams became the latest to earn that honor, as the PFWA announced its 2021 selections on Tuesday.
Denver is one of eight teams with multiple players selected.
Surtain, whom the Broncos selected with the ninth-overall pick, had one of the best rookie seasons by a cornerback in recent franchise or NFL history. In 15 starts and 16 total games, Surtain recorded four interceptions, 14 passes defensed and one defensive touchdown. He is the first Broncos cornerback to intercept four or more passes as a rookie since 1976.
Surtain particularly shined in a Week 12 game against the Chargers, when he made two game-changing interceptions. His first robbed Justin Herbert of a potential touchdown, and Surtain took the second back for a touchdown to secure the win. Surtain was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Week.
“I’ve been really impressed,” Broncos GM George Paton said of Surtain in November. “He’s a pro. He keeps getting better every week. I think he’s going to be one of the better corners in the league. I haven’t waivered off that. [He] needed to tackle better in a few games. You saw last week he improved. He just keeps getting better, keeps getting more confident. For a rookie, the guy just doesn’t get frazzled, and that’s what I like about him.
Williams, the Broncos’ second draft pick of their 2021 class, was selected with the 35th-overall pick. Even while splitting carries with veteran Melvin Gordon III, Williams ran for 903 yards and recorded 316 receiving yards. His rushing total ranked third among rookies and 13th in the league overall.
The former North Carolina star showcased a bruising running style that produced at least one big run in seemingly every game. Perhaps no play displayed that better than when he broke through a mass of Cowboys defenders to pick up 30 yards as he generated his first career 100-yard game, which earned him NFL Rookie of the Week honors.
Surtain and Williams join center Lloyd Cushenberry III (2020); tight end Noah Fant and guard Dalton Risner (2019); outside linebacker Bradley Chubb and running back Phillip Lindsay (2018); tackle Garett Bolles (2017); and punter Riley Dixon (2016) as Broncos who have earned PFWA All-Rookie Team honors since 2016.