PFF ranked the top 32 cornerbacks in the NFL ahead of the 2023 season, and Patrick Surtain II was able to earn a mostly fair ranking. Rankings like this are totally subjective, but we still consume them like a good meal.
PFF ranked their top 32 cornerbacks in the NFL for 2023, and Patrick Surtain II (who is obviously the best CB in football) came in as #4 in their rankings. I guess that isn't an unfair ranking, but I think there's an argument that he could be ranked much higher.
He is ranked behind Sauce Gardner (#1), Jalen Ramsey (#2), and Darius Slay (#3). I do kind of disagree that Darius Slay should be ahead of Surtain, as I think Slay isn't nearly as good as he once was, but PFF thinking he's the fourth-best CB in football is fine, I suppose.
Here's what they had to say about Surtain II, who earned a Pro Bowl and a first-team All-Pro nod in 2022 as a 22 year old:
"Surtain’s play doesn’t look as flashy as that of some other cornerbacks, but few players can play with his level of consistency and control. His PFF coverage grade jumped from 66.3 as a rookie to 86.7 last season, which put him in the All-Pro conversation. He had 12 games allowing fewer than 25 receiving yards, including his final six outings."- Sam Monson
Monson does bring up a good point that he isn't really a flashy player, and I think that's perfectly fine. I'd rather have someone who is consistent and technically sound like Surtain over someone who is still good but more flashy and inconsistent like Trevon Diggs.
Surtain may never accumulate a ton of defended passes or interceptions, but he's a lockdown player when the ball is thrown his way, and according to Monson and PFF, 12 of his games in 2022 saw him allow fewer than 25 yards, which is remarkable.
The Denver Broncos did hit this draft pick out of the park. Patrick Surtain II was by far the best cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft and is easily a top-two cornerback, and he might not be #2. The next big event for Surtain should be a contract extension next offseason that likely pays him more money than any cornerback in the history of the NFL.