The Denver Broncos took Patrick Surtain II over Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft, and I think at this point, it's pretty safe to say the Broncos made the right decision. The Surtain pick was criticized by many in the media when it happened. They were criticizing picking Patrick Surtain II, but more so dogging on the Denver Broncos for not picking Justin Fields, who was still on the board in the 2021 NFL Draft when Denver made their selection.
George Paton had famously said that it's harder to find franchise cornerbacks than franchise quarterbacks, and even though that is clearly not true, Paton was simply defending his pick. Well, we are now just into year three of the 2021 NFL Draft class, and I think at this point, we don't need to see much more at all. Not only was Patrick Surtain II the right pick over Justin Fields, but you might be able to argue that Surtain is the best defensive player picked from this draft.
Obviously, Micah Parsons was taken in 2021 as well, and he's perhaps the best player in the NFL, but I think you could argue that Surtain is more talented. I'm not doing that in this article, but what I will say definitively is that Justin Fields would have been a total disaster in Denver, especially given their coaching set-up in 2021. Not only would Justin Fields not worked out in orange and blue, but he's embarrassing himself on the field at this point with the Chicago Bears, who traded up to draft him.
Through his first 27 starts, Justin Fields has thrown for 4,539 yards on 59.8% completion. He's tossed 26 touchdowns, 24 interceptions, and has "earned" a passer rating of 78.8. He's played 29 total games in the NFL, and his 17-game averages come out to 2,661 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions per season. Folks, I'm not sure Justin Fields is even worth a QB2 spot at this point.
On the other hand, Patrick Surtain II has played in 35 games in the NFL, starting 35 of them. He's got six interceptions, one pick-six, 27 passes defended, one fumble recovery, 123 total tackles, and three tackles for loss. He's also earned a Pro Bowl and an All-Pro honor. Surtain is still just 23 years old and will likely be made the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history next offseason.
I truly do not care about the excuses that people seem to be making for Fields. He is simply not an NFL QB, and the Denver Broncos surely made the right decision in passing him up for Surtain.