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Broncos' Rookie CB Damarri Mathis Earns Big Praise from PFF

The Denver Broncos might have a gem on their hands.
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Things are looking good for Damarri Mathis. The Denver Broncos' rookie cornerback was pressed into action in Week 2 against the Houston Texans after Patrick Surtain II exited with a shoulder injury. 

Suffice to say, Mathis acquitted himself well. He finished second on the team with five tackles, all solo, and only relinquished completions on 3-of-6 targets thrown his way by Davis Mills, breaking up one pass. 

Mile High Huddle's Erick Trickel graded Mathis very well for his Week 2 contributions on 38 snaps. Even Pro Football Focus liked what it saw from the Broncos' fourth-rounder out of Pittsburgh, ranking him in the top-five highest-graded rookies of Week 2. 


Mathis was thrust into the first action of his NFL career once Patrick Surtain II went down with an injury, and the rookie responded. Mathis finished with four defensive stops and allowed three catches on six targets for 37 yards on the day. 

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Even Mathis' veteran teammates were impressed by the rookie's day at the office. 

“I think he played well," veteran safety Kareem Jackson said post-game. "I talked to the guys after, I just told them that regardless of if you’re a starter, you need to prepare like you’re starting because you never know what can happen. You have to go in and play. Pat [Surtain II] going down and him stepping in, I think he played well.”

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For Mathis, he took satisfaction in being able to get his "feet wet" in the NFL. It doesn't hurt that he contributed to the Broncos' first win of the season, as Houston was sent home with a 16-9 loss. 

“It just feels good getting in and getting my feet wet, and just being able to adjust to the game," Mathis said post-game. "It’s a different level of football, and I think it’s good that I came in and was able to do that today.”

It was one game. Mathis' place in the league hasn't exactly been secured in stone. The rookie knows he's got to use Week 2 as a building block as he focuses on improving the different aspects of his game that'll give him NFL staying power. 

“Just continue to be better on my technique and just being able to tackle better," Mathis said. "Just keep stacking days, stacking weeks and be the best that I can be.”

With the Broncos' first two draft picks of 2022 watching Week 2 as spectators — second-round OLB Nik Bonitto (healthy scratch) and third-round TE Greg Dulcich (injured reserve) — it's good to see one of GM George Paton's boys contributing to a win. 

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