The Denver Broncos have a long list of great cornerbacks throughout their history. Think Chris Harris, Jr., Aqib Talib, Louis Wright, Champ Bailey, and now Pat Surtain II.
It might feel early to put him on a list like this, but PS2 joined the Denver Broncos and immediately made an impact. We talk a lot about shutdown corners. Guys who can eliminate half of the field on defense are incredibly valuable.
In just his second year in the NFL PS2 made the Pro Bowl, earned AP and NFLPA first-team honors, and was one of the few bright spots for Broncos Country. The football world is fully aware of the young corner. He is a major asset for the team on defense, and he is just getting started. Broncos Defensive Backs Coach Christian Parker believes he has the potential to just keep improving.
“I think he can improve a lot more. I think just based off what God’s given him from the physical standpoint, his mental ability and his mental focus, I think the sky’s the limit for him. … As well as he’s done these first two years, I think he has a lot more he can get out of himself.”
Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph looks past the obvious physical traits when discussing the 3rd year CB.
“His special trait is his intelligence. He’s a very, very smart player. He understands the game, and he works at the game on a daily basis. When you combine that part with his physical traits, it’s unique. He’s coachable, and he wants to get better every single day. He’s definitely a special player.”
New Head Coach Sean Payton is fully aware of what he has in PS2.
“He’s got great makeup, he’s tough, he’s smart and the ball finds him. He’s got good ball skills. … I mentioned the physical [traits], and I mentioned mental [traits]. All those things come together and then you get an elite player, and at corner those are hard to find.”
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 202 pounds
Experience: Third season | Age: 23 years old
Pat Surtain II 2022 stats
Surtain played in all 17 games in 2022. He had 60 tackles, 46 solo. with 10 passes defensed, and only 2 interceptions, that might seem like a step back from his rookie season when he had 14 PDs and 4 INTs with a TD, but teams clearly looked to receivers not covered by PS2. He added one forced fumble, as well.
2023 outlook for Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II
Well, the sky’s the limit according to his position coach. There is no doubt that opponents will continue to avoid Surtain when possible. His All-Pro status will likely put him in the spotlight when covering each team’s best receiver. He will be a key component to the Broncos defense.
Aside from division rivals like DaVante Adams and Keenan Allen, Surtain will likely be asked to lock up players like Justin Jefferson and Stefon Diggs when Denver takes on the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills, respectively. Scary Terry McLaurin and Tyreek Hill are also on the horizon for PS2. Locking up players like this will continue to cement his status as the top CB in the NFL.
Surtain mentioned Adams, Jefferson and Hill on the Pat McAfee show on June 15 when asked who his top-3 WR in the NFL were. He knows how difficult his task will be in 2023.
Frankly, Surtain has put himself in a tough spot. His success will only put a larger target on his back. Top wideouts in the league will want to prove their worth by giving him their best each week. Nothing in his career would indicate that he will take a step back. While many of his stats are dependent on other teams choosing to throw the ball his way, if he can continue to eliminate an offensive weapon for their opponents, the defense will be that much better for it.
If minicamp was any indication, we could see a little bit more of PS2 on the field. He was one of the players that Sean Payton had returning punts. Add that to the list of ways he could be an even bigger impact for the team.
Surtain, one of the few bright spots for the Broncos in 2022, should continue his growth in the NFL. He has established himself as one of, if not the, best players on defense in the league. 2023 will be another big year for the young corner.