Patrick Surtain II, the Denver Broncos and the art of drafting good football players

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Rookie full-back Patrick Surtain II caught a glimpse of his potential when he starred in the Denver Broncos’ preseason match against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Denver Broncos may have been embroiled in over-thinking about Justin Fields’ dwindling draft weight, however, in doing so they acquired a certified stallion for their problems with Patrick Surtain II.

Surtain supporters are hinting at a guy who “understands.” People like anyone watching football for the first time can believe they’ve patrolled a minor NFL club for years. “Gets” football, “gets” the lead, “gets” the hard work, “gets” the attention to detail needed at the top.

Surtaine grew up with a former All-Pro and three-time pro bowler for his father before picking the mind of Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa; there is transparency about the elite leadership and experience that has turned the 21-year-old into a doomed star in his position.

The preseason is the pre-season, a minefield of sudden judgments that disappear into nothing and “check depth charts,” whose names only appear once, never to be seen again. And then there are the “aha” moments.

Surtein recorded his own “aha” in Denver’s preseason match against the Minnesota Vikings, lifting the curtain on his professional ability when he heard the debut six.

Hunting third and fourth on Vikings 23, Surtain read the eyes of quarterback Jake Browning before outplaying Ihmir Smith-Marsett to pocket the wide receiver’s return path and reclaim a 30-yard intercept for a touchdown. The rear pedal was cleverly controlled and eerily thoughtful, the square shoulders kept the correct shape throughout the game, the timing and acceleration of its rear kick was impeccable, and the release speed was exquisite.

“Don’t throw it in there,” Cortland Sutton rejoiced aside.

Alabama’s rivals attacked Surtain just 48 times in the 2020 season when the team won the national championship. NFL quarterbacks will soon learn to follow his lead when it comes to siding with Surtain.

“PS2, he doesn’t play games,” said Broncos defender Teddy Bridgewater.

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