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Patrick Surtain II impressing Broncos teammates in OTAs by picking up the defense quickly

USATSI

The Denver Broncos selected cornerback Patrick Surtain II with their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and it was seen as somewhat of a controversial decision. The Broncos are in the midst of a quarterback battle, and with Ohio State’s Justin Fields still on the board, some were intrigued by that potential route. Instead Denver continued what has been its primary goal all offseason, and that’s to bolster the secondary.

Surtain was still considered one of the best defensive players in the draft, and he has been turning some heads in OTAs. On Tuesday, fellow Broncos cornerback Bryce Callahan told reporters that he was more excited than worried about his job security when Denver selected Surtain, and also said that he’s impressing on the field — mentally and physically.

“Oh man, he’s a baller,” said Callahan when asked about Surtain. “Just from what I’ve seen so far, he has great size, he’s a big corner, he’s disciplined in his technique and he’s learning the defense — multiple positions — really fast, which is rare for a rookie.” 

The son of a three-time Pro Bowler, Surtain was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season, and was an Unanimous All-American as his Alabama Crimson Tide went on to win the College Football National Championship. He recorded 116 total tackles, 24 passes defensed and just four interceptions in three seasons at Alabama, but it wasn’t often when a quarterback took a chance by throwing in his direction. The Broncos have a solid secondary with safeties Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons returning, along with cornerbacks Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby and Callahan, but Surtain is still going to have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in Year 1.