Well, that didn't take long.
If you've been checking out Mile High Huddle over the last week, the player mentioned the most at Broncos training camp has been none other than former Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
To say a lot of people are raving about him would be an understatement. Plus this isn't hype, like the talk in Miami about how Tua Tagovailoa suddenly looks a lot better with the deep ball (he doesn't, sites that aggregate have been taking the team website reports and blowing them out of proportion).
Cornerback Bryce Callahan has been among them.
“Oh yeah. Probably one of the quickest I’ve seen as a rookie acclimate to a defense and pick up multiple spots,” Callahan said. “It’s pretty impressive.”
“His press technique. He kind of looks like he’s been in the league for a couple of years already. Real calm. He’s got a lot going for him.”
For a player like Callahan to say that Surtain is already looking and acting like a veteran is high praise.
But he isn't alone with that assessment, either.
“He has a lot of natural abilities like getting his head back for the ball, playing the ball, focusing on the ball,” cornerback Ronald Darby said. “He gets up there, compete, press, play off the ball. [He’s] patient, willing to learn, doesn’t complain. He works hard.”
It's still early in camp, but there's already talk in Denver that the team might put the rookie in the challenging star position, which is the same as at Alabama: The fifth defensive back who lines up over the slot.
However, the problem in the NFL is that the player he goes up against can often be either a small speed guy or a talented tight end. Kansas City's Travis Kelce and Las Vegas' Darren Waller are both in Denver's division.
Regardless, the more Surtain can do and the more options he can give his coaches, the better the secondary — and the Broncos already had a really good group of defensive backs before selecting him with the ninth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“I feel like, yeah, for sure. With more DBs that know more positions, we can mix our defense up, we can move more guys around,” Callahan said. “That’s obviously going to give our defense more versatility.”
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