Top WRs Denver Broncos CB Pat Surtain II will face in 2023

All-Pro CB Patrick Surtain II
All-Pro CB Patrick Surtain II / Michael Owens/GettyImages

In his young NFL career, superstar Patrick Surtain II is already a First-Team All-Pro, Top 100 NFL Player list member, and a Pro Bowl starting cornerback. He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team in his first year, despite a slow start. Going into his third year, and with a third different coaching staff, Surtain has the opportunity to show again that he is a top-tier NFL cornerback. He has become a lockdown corner, and probably a top 5, if not top overall cornerback in the league.

With the Denver Broncos 2023-2024 NFL regular season schedule announcement this past Thursday, let's check out the top wide receivers (WR1s) on each team that Patrick Surtain will have to face this year. Can he lock them all down?

Week 1 & 18: Davante Adams - Raiders

Davante had his first year with the Raiders the past season, in their first matchup, Surtain allowed seven receptions in 12 targets for 61 yards and had four pass breakups. In their second matchup, Surtain allowed only four receptions to Adams but gave over 100 yards. They are going to be two fun divisional matchups between a top-tier wideout in Adams and a top-tier corner in Surtain.

Week 2: Terry McLaurin - Commanders

Surtain faced Terry, aka "Scarry Terry" during his rookie season, he did not allow a single reception from McLaurin and had two pass breakups, but he did allow two receptions to DeAndre Carter in that game. McLaurin has been an underrated receiver in the NFL, having production, and not-so-good quarterbacks. Let's see how his chemistry with second-year QB Sam Howell will be in this upcoming season.

Week 3: Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle - Dolphins:

Surtain has already covered Tyreek Hill during his rookie season when Hill was still with the Kansas City Chiefs. In their first matchup, Pat allowed Hill to get one 14-yard reception in two targets and also had a pass breakup. Surtain missed the second game between the Broncos and the Chiefs during his rookie year. The Miami game should be a fun one. PSII knows Jaylen Waddle pretty well from back in the Alabama days, and as I mentioned before, he has already covered Tyreek Hill.

Week 4: DJ Moore - Bears:

We still do not know how the new QB/WR duo from Justin Fields and DJ Moore will turn out, but one of the few games that Surtain has struggled a little bit over his young career was last year against the Carolina Panthers covering DJ Moore. Moore was the second-best receiver in terms of yards last season when facing Surtain (77 yards and a TD). Surtain allowed only three receptions in six targets against DJ but struggled in yardage and allowed a touchdown, still he had a pass breakup in that game.

Week 5: Garrett Wilson - Jets:

Surtain faced Garrett Wilson in college and faced him in the NFL for the first time last year. Garrett Wilson won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award last season, but when he faced Surtain, he had only one reception for 12 yards. The thing now is that Wilson will have Aaron Rodgers throwing him and not Zach Wilson. It should be a fun matchup between two young studs at their respective positions.

Week 6 & 8: Kadarius Toney/Rashee Rice - Chiefs:

The Kansas City Chiefs might not have a true WR1. Instead, their top target is tight end Travis Kelce. Still, they have speedy wideouts that Surtain will have to face. We do not know who will be the main target at receiver for Mahomes this upcoming season, but Kadarius Toney and rookie Rashee Rice are fast guys that could give any cornerback tough matchups despite not being top-tier wide receivers. When facing KC, Surtain has allowed two receptions on four targets, in three games against them. He has two pass breakups and two interceptions in those three matchups.

Week 7: Christian Watson - Packers:

A new era for Green Bay has started, with future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting traded to the New York Jets, and Jordan Love being the new guy for the Packers. They also do not have a clear WR1. Christian Watson had ups and downs during his rookie season, and who knows if he will have a bounce-back second-year building good chemistry with Jordan Love. Green Bay has other wideouts but I think that during that game, Surtain will see more of Watson than of the other guys.

Week 10: Stefon Diggs - Bills:

A highly anticipated matchup between two greats at their respective positions, in Diggs and Surtain. This should be one of the best WR/CB matchups of the season. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are a scary QB/WR duo in the league, and it should be a tough test for Surtain, but he has faced other great ones, so he will be able to cover Diggs. This will be a Primetime game showdown!

Week 11: Justin Jefferson - Vikings:

Another top-tier WR/CB matchup between two All-Pros. Jefferson is also a top-tier wide receiver and this matchup will be in a Primetime game. Jefferson led the NFL in receiving yards last year, and Surtain was targeted in only 12.5% of the snaps he played, both the best in the NFL in the respective categories...

Week 12: Amari Cooper - Browns:

Amari Cooper is one of the best route runners in the league, and it is going to be interesting how his connection with Deshaun Watson will be since Watson joined the team later in the season last year after facing a suspension. Surtain faced Cooper during his rookie season when he still played for the Dallas Cowboys. Cooper was targeted four times in that game when covered by Surtain and had zero receptions.

Week 13: Tank Dell? - Texans:

After trading Brandin Cooks, no one really knows who the wide receiver one will be for the Houston Texans. They have a young receiver core that includes Nico Collins, Tank Dell, John Metchie, and Xavier Hutchinson. Metchie is a familiar guy for Surtain since both played together in college. If I had to guess who the number one guy will be, I would say rookie Nathaniel "Tank" Dell. Surtain last year, when facing the Texans, allowed two receptions for 10 total yards in three targets.

Week 14 & 17: Mike Williams - Chargers:

During his rookie season, Surtain had zero targets when facing the Chargers, he had a pick-six on a short pass from Justin Herbert. Last year, he was mainly facing Mike Williams on 1v1s. Williams was targeted 19 times total in both games when covered by Surtain and had only eight receptions for 65 yards. Pat had four pass breakups in those 19 targets, and once again allowed only eight catches.

Week 15: Amon-Ra St. Brown - Lions:

Amon-Ra is one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL. Surtain has faced the Lions once, during his rookie year, but did not cover St. Brown. It should be a fun and interesting matchup. St. Brown was top five in receiving yards among wide receivers during the 2022-2023 NFL season.

Week 16: Juju Smith-Schuster - Patriots:

The Patriots have a weird wide receiver core, but the guy I think will be number one (if healthy) will be JuJu Smith-Schuster. Surtain faced Smith-Schuster in both matchups last year when facing the Chiefs. JuJu had only one 12-yard reception on three targets when covered by Surtain. Surtain also had a pass breakup. The thing is that now, Juju will catch passes from Mac Jones (PSII's QB in college, a familiar guy) and not from Patrick Mahomes as last year.

Which WR-CB (Surtain) matchup are you excited the most to see?

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