Why Patrick Surtain II is the very early DROY favorite

Patrick Surtain may be the Broncos key to beating Patrick Mahomes

By: Jordan Anders

Rookie Patrick Surtain II has been putting the NFL on notice the last two weeks in his first two preseason games with the Denver Broncos. We all knew Surtain was going to be good, but how good and NFL-ready he already was came faster than anyone expected. From training camp to his first NFL debut Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, Patrick Surtain had been turning heads from the very beginning.

During the Denver Broncos training camp, Surtain not only made an impression on his fellow teammates but head coach Vic Fangio as well. Fangio stated that Patrick was fitting right into the Broncos secondary, which is one of the best in the league. Patrick Surtain got his first pick on day five of practice which would then lead to a real interception during the Vikings game later that week.

The Broncos headed to their first preseason game against the Vikings where Surtain would play 11 coverage snaps. During those coverage snaps, Surtain allowed 0 catches and had a 30-yard pick followed by a touchdown. After the game, Surtain received a 94.5 PFF Grade, the highest of all cornerbacks in Week one. After week two, Patrick Surtain was the second-highest graded defensive rookie so far with a 91.3 Grade overall. Patrick Surtain is the top-graded rookie cornerback vs single coverage.

In the two weeks of preseason, Patrick Surtain was the “highest-graded defensive rookie in the NFL”. There’s already talk about Surtain being a favorite for the Defensive Rookie of the Year and the sports bets can back that up. With the odds changing nearly every day, Patrick Surtain has been a top-five favorite the last two weeks. Over the last week, Patrick Surtain has become one of the most-bet on players for the award this year.

Patrick Surtain will be competing against Cowboys’ rookie Micah Parsons, who is the number one favorite for the award. He will also be competing against other rookies including Kwity Paye, Jaelan Phillips, Jamin Davis, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and Jaycee Horn. Based on his performances and ratings in the past two weeks, Surtain is already ahead of the pack. It may be late August, but there is no question he will be a stud for the Broncos secondary this season and be a serious candidate for the DROY award.

If Patrick Surtain wins the award, he will join Von Miller and Mike Croel as the only Broncos players to win the award in the 54 years the award has been around. He will also be the first Broncos cornerback to win the award and the third cornerback ever to win the award. Yet, the NFL passing game evolves and CBs truly have had more opportunities to stand out among other defensive positions in recent memory. Two CBs have won the award since 2015: Marcus Peters and Marshon Lattimore. Surtain will have countless chances to prove he’s a talented CB as he faces passing offenses like Kansas City, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles twice each in the season.

It’s clear that Surtain is gifted and up to prove he’s ready to take 2021 by storm. Even the great Broncos CB Champ Bailey has acknowledged an early positive impression of Surtain. When asked about Patrick Surtain, Bailey stated “People are like ‘Oh, he reminds me of Champ!’ I’m like ‘hell, he reminds me of me, too!’”

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