It’s no secret that the Denver Broncos drafted a future star in 2021, with Patrick Surtain II, but now that point is being re-affirmed by some of the position’s greatest players of the past two decades.
To make this heaping of praise more meaningful, they all offered their glowing words unprompted.
Darius Slay, a star cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles who has made four Pro Bowls and was a first-team All Pro kicked off the reactions by tweeting, “Man, [Patrick Surtain II is one of the best press technicians in the game… I kno bra only yr 2 but y’all go watch his film an tell me different!”
Man @PatSurtainll one of the best press technicians in the game… I kno bra only yr 2 but y’all go watch his film an tell me different!
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) September 13, 2022
Hearing that review of Surtain’s technique should have Broncos Country ecstatic. Surtain is a 99.6th-percentile athlete at the cornerback position. Pair that with being, ‘one of the best press technicians’ and you’ve got a lethal combo.
Stephon Gillmore — a five-time Pro-Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro, and the only true boundary cornerback to win Defensive Player of the Year since 1995 — also weighed in, after seeing Slay’s tweet.
At first, Gillmore simply quote-tweeted Slay’s tweet with two exclamation-mark emojis, spurring Slay to reply, “I watch all his film last yr bra so patient an nice with it!!”
Gillmore than quote-tweeted that response to write, “He look like he was in year 5 as a rookie last year.”
Asante Samuel Sr., whose son is now a cornerback for the Chargers and was even in Surtain’s draft class — adding a little extra sweetness to Samuel’s compliment — also reached out to Surtain unprompted on Twitter.
“[Patrick Surtain II] you are going to be a great player in the NFL my boy,” Samuel tweeted at Surtain.
@PatSurtainll you are going to be a great player in the NFL my boy 🤝
— Asante Samuel (@pick_six22) September 13, 2022
Darius Butler, who played nine years in the NFL, was the last cornerback to offer his thoughts without first being prodded on the topic. Butler tweeted, “Surtain really came in a played like an All Pro Corner from day 1. One of the best CB prospects to touch the league in a while.”
Surtain really came in a played like an All Pro Corner from day 1. One of the best CB prospects to touch the league in a while.
— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) September 13, 2022
Finally, Richard Sherman — a member of the 2010s NFL All-Decade team, a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro-Bowler — quote-tweeted Slay’s tweet to write “Bro looks like a 10-year vet!” Sherman also responded to an inquisitive Denver Broncos fan to say he believes Surtain could be the best cornerback in the NFL by season’s end.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 13, 2022
Getting that amount of praise more-or-less unprompted from such a wide variety of some of the most impressive defensive backs of the past couple decades is incredibly meaningful. You have veterans like Darius Slay, who have elite production over the course of their careers, going back to review a rookie’s tape in order to pick up tips and details on technique. That is rare at any position, but especially at cornerback, where the transition to the league is so difficult.
Denver Broncos fans should be giddy at the thought of what Surtain could accomplish in Denver over the next decade.