Now, almost a year removed from the selection, the Denver Broncos’ choice of Patrick Surtain II in the 2021 NFL Draft appears to have been a slam dunk.

Surtain had a remarkable rookie season for a cornerback, and now is looking to build on that success as he enters year two with heavy expectations on his shoulders.

“I can say that preparation last year was a little bit more nerve-wracking because you don’t know what team you’re going to,” Surtain said. “This time around, I’m more focused on the team goals and individual goals as well. [I’m] focusing in on being the best version of myself and being the best all-around player I can be.”

As for what he needs to improve to achieve that goal, Surtain wants to improve his feel for the game.

“I just want to build on consistency, technique, fundamentals and those sorts of things,” Surtain told the media. “I think I can improve on more film study, of course—recognizing offensive patterns and offensive concepts. [It’s about] slowing the game down a little bit in the second year.”

That feel for the game and comfort at the NFL is rounding into shape in some other ways though, such as in the locker room.

“[I’m] getting more comfortable around the players and developing into a leader this time around,” Surtain said on Tuesday. “[I] know the schemes and what to expect. [I’m] just getting more comfortable. The first year, I was getting my feet wet a little bit, but now I can see myself growing each and every day.”

If the Broncos get an even better version of Surtain in 2022, the rest of the AFC West should be scared.