Many in Broncos Country are expecting 2021 first-round pick Patrick Surtain II to blossom into a superstar, and shine as one of the best cornerbacks in all of football in 2022.

In his rookie season, Surtain was phenomenal, which we rarely ever see from the position. Jalen Ramsey and Jaire Alexander, who are widely viewed as the two best corners in the league, were applauded for merely being ok as rookies, because it’s such a difficult position to succeed at early on.

Broncos fans aren’t the only ones with high hopes for Surtain though, as Pro Football Focus has him ranked as one of the best players at his position already, and are projecting him to continue climbing.

PFF’s Anthony Treash has Surtain ranked as the 11th-best outside cornerback, in the second tier, labeled ‘on the cusp of elite’.

“One year into his NFL career, Surtain is only scratching the surface,” Treash wrote of Denver’s burgeoning star. “He is an advanced technician who looked well beyond his years as a rookie. The 2021 top-10 pick allowed over 60 yards just once last season and led the draft class in combined interceptions and pass breakups (12). The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder earned a few poor game grades early on, but he soon righted those wrongs. From Week 7 on, he was one of the 25 highest-graded cornerbacks in the NFL. Surtain could take an A.J. Terrell-esque leap to elite status in 2022.”

If Surtain is able to realize his potential and make such a leap, it would be tremendous for the Denver franchise. PFF ranks Ramsey and Alexander No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, but they have Terrell third, after his remarkable sophomore campaign.

Getting cornerback play like that from Surtain might be enough to return the Broncos’ defense to elite status.