Denver Broncos: Five big winners from 2021 OTAs

Denver Broncos QB Kendall Hinton. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos QB Kendall Hinton. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos, Patrick Surtain II
Jun 1, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA;Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Pat Surtain II, CB

It could just be the fact that he’s the team’s most recent first-round pick, but there was an undeniable aura around Pat Surtain II for those who were able to take in practices.

Even Surtain’s new Denver Broncos teammates.

When asked about Surtain, almost every one of the Denver Broncos players responded by talking about how surprisingly big this young player is, and there’s no doubt that Surtain is built more like a safety than he is a cornerback.

On the field, Surtain did not disappoint, impressing his teammates and coaches with his football IQ, adaptability, coachability, and physical prowess.

When people talked about Surtain as a “safe” pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, there was some implication that the Denver Broncos made a cowardly decision not to take a quarterback. Surtain is not just a safe pick compared to playing quarterback roulette — he’s about as close to a “sure thing” as you’re ever going to find in the NFL Draft.

Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell heaped some praise on the rookie at the conclusion of OTAs.

"Well he came in here with a great foundation. He comes from a great family, lineage with his father, excellent parents. Then he goes to Alabama and plays the whole time there, starts every game at a high level, against top players in practice. He’s been exposed to very good coaching in college. Then you come in here, and he’s a guy that’s very calm, reserved. I wouldn’t say reserved, but he’s respectful of others, and he’s just a very hard-working, serious player. So he has everything that can point to success, and not to mention he’s a heck of an athlete. He’s fitting in great with our guys, and he’ll work to get a strong role. Ed Donatell via Broncos PR"

What will that “strong role” be for the Broncos’ defense in 2021? Time will tell, but if everyone on Denver’s defense stays healthy, how do you keep this kind of talent off the field?