Denver Broncos: Pat Surtain II entered conversation of stardom Sunday

Pat Surtain II #2 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after getting an interception in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field At Mile High on November 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Pat Surtain II #2 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after getting an interception in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field At Mile High on November 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos got a glimpse of the future with Pat Surtain II in his coming-out party as a superstar Sunday versus the Los Angeles Chargers.

There was plenty of backlash regarding the selection of cornerback Pat Surtain II when he joined the Denver Broncos as the ninth overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Broncos made the conscious decision to select a player they loved more than the most important position in sports — quarterback.

It was criticized locally and nationally; however, general manager George Paton and others never wavered in their confidence in the young rookie. Ever since stepping onto the football field Surtain II has risen to occasion playing exceptional football.

The transition for Surtain II seemed like it would be easy with the number of soundboards in his corner. Defensive backs coach Christian Parker, head coach Vic Fangio, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, and his father Patrick Surtain all represent strong voices for the rookie to transition well to the next level.

Here’s the twist. Surtain II is not your typical rookie. This stems from his father’s background for starters but is also due to his overall technique as a player. Fangio’s scheme is a different one compared to multiple coordinators. There’s more responsibility for a player like Surtain II who was asked to consider playing different positions.

As a true press-man cornerback Surtain II is proving he is not reliant on one position or rather a responsibility. Surtain II understands where he is on his side of the field. Excelling in every aspect at this has resulted in skyrocketing up the depth chart at beginning of the season.

Surtain II is so fluid in his motion it’s close to poetry. It’s beautiful to watch unfold. The way he moves with intent and knowledge of playbook is proving he’s far and away one of the impressive prospects to come in quite some time.

Now in his rookie campaign, he’s not only representing potential Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, but he’s boasting possible top-10 CB territory in a very short time. It also should not come to be a surprise to anyone with Surtain II’s performance after the jaw-dropping play against Jacksonville.

Surtain II made a wide receiver-type play shielding the wideout to sideline making sure he was the only option to football. Surtain II had enough cognitive senses to get the appropriate feet/body requirements for a catch. The play was breathtaking.

As for a coming-out party as a potential superstar, that came against the divisional opponent Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Surtain II inserted himself as a “Von Miller” or “Justin Simmons” face of the franchise-esque player with his defensive performance. The Denver Broncos needed a huge game to place themselves back squarely in the playoff hunt. For that to happen, a team’s best players should always rise and ensure the result is what they intended: a victory of the Chargers.

The moments Surtain II rose to occasion significantly swung the momentum back in favor of the Denver Broncos.

On 3rd and 14 near the red zone for the Chargers, Justin Herbert needed to make a play. He found Surtain II in the end zone who was on tight end, Jared Cook. It was a scoring play averted. This resulted in the Broncos taking possession on the 20 who turned the interception into points. The Surtain II interception resulted in a 14-point swing in favor of Denver. It was a huge moment of the game.

The second interception from Surtain II put the final nail in the coffin for the Chargers and showed the true display of him as a wide receiver playing defensive back once again. On 1st and 10 with 7:45 remaining the Chargers called a pass play. Herbert’s pass was a little behind Austin Ekeler who should have caught the ball.

Fortunately again for the Denver Broncos, Surtain II sat right in the zone where the deflected ball was headed. Surtain II caught it and ran untouched for 70-yards. Next-Gen Stats calculated the speed of Surtain II on this play at 22.07 MPH. That’s wide receiver speed and only the fastest players top those totals or a tad above that. The capper of all is these interceptions is they happened on back-to-back drives for the Chargers.

It was a truly dominant performance for the rookie inserting his name as the league’s best. Pat Surtain II had his first pick-6 Sunday in Denver. Surtain, the father, had his last pick-6 in Denver. Not only that, but he and his dad Patrick Surtain are one of four father-son combinations to have a pick-6. Clay Matthews (father and son), Gil and Jairus Byrd, David, and Dave Grayson are the other three.

Surtain II is trending in a direction that is stardom. If anyone has not “bought stock” in Pat Surtain II, I’d highly recommend starting now because his trajectory is nothing but up.