Predicts Broncos' 2024 MVP

It's the easy prediction but the Denver Broncos need it to be someone else.
Denver Broncos strong safety Kareem Jackson (22) celebrates after a reception by cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field.
Denver Broncos strong safety Kareem Jackson (22) celebrates after a reception by cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Denver Broncos Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain II has admitted this offseason that he plans on making improvements over last year's performance. There's little doubt that Surtain appears to be the Broncos' most talented player, so expecting the 24-year-old to keep getting better is a solid bet.'s Eric Edholm went around the league to pick each team's 2024 MVP, and Surtain was unsurprisingly pegged to be a new and improved version of himself in 2024.

"Though I admit that this race is wide open, I arrived at Surtain pretty quickly. It was never going to be one of the quarterbacks for me, not until I've seen more from Jarrett Stidham or Bo Nix. Receiver Courtland Sutton could be that guy, especially with Jerry Jeudy having been traded to Cleveland, but Sutton apparently remains at loggerheads with the team over his contract, and his production will be dependent on how the QBs perform.

"Surtain isn't even coming off his best year, to be honest; in 2023, he committed more penalties (six) than he had in his first two seasons combined. He also allowed more receptions than he did in either Years 1 or 2, according to Pro Football Focus. But I believe he has the best chance to be Denver's MVP in 2024, given the makeup of the offense and the fact that he's the Broncos' top defender right now, at least on paper. Surtain was a more reliable tackler last season than he'd been previously, and he's tasked with containing WR1s on a weekly basis. If he can make a few more plays on the ball, earning this honor wouldn't be a stretch at all," Edholm wrote.

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Surtain has never been short on confidence, but the 70-point humiliation the Broncos defense took squarely on the chin in Miami last season was hard to look past. Year 1 under defensive coordinator Vance Joseph in Denver had its ups and downs, which fully tested Surtain's mental fortitude.

Entering Year 2 in the system, Surtain has the familiarity with Joseph's defense and what he's trying to achieve. Surtain has sounded a lot more enthusiastic about the simplistic and attacking defensive scheme the Broncos are going to run under Joseph moving forward.

"It's great. Vance, obviously, he's set a great example for us, just believing in us with his playcalls, but also he's simplifying it even more, so we can play faster, feel comfortable, and that's the main thing you want in a defense," Surtain said via Andrew Mason back in June. "We've got the utmost belief in Vance, and I know Vance has the utmost belief in us. It goes hand in hand."

Truth be told, head coach Sean Payton would probably much prefer that Denver's MVP ultimately ends up being first-round quarterback Bo Nix, rather than anyone on defense. Making any sweeping predictions that Nix will even be the full-time starter would be premature. Training camp will answer a great deal of questions on that front.

It's generally accepted that Sutton will be the Broncos' No.1 receiver. has a theory that Sutton's stubborn contractual issues might take him off his stride, but that's probably being overplayed.

Sutton's diligent approach to his craft won't stop him from preparing to the best of his abilities, and that will include a private get-together between Denver's quarterbacks and receivers for a throwing session or two prior to training camp. The challenge any receiver faces of bonding with a rookie quarterback during the season or with a career backup like Stidham could curtail Sutton's chances of becoming the Broncos' MVP.

The decreasing likelihood that Sutton, Nix, or another offensive player will become a dominant force, makes Surtain the heavy favorite for team MVP honors. Furthermore, Surtain will do it the hard way, simply on account of drawing the toughest one-on-one assignments on a weekly basis.

Factor in a looming lucrative contract extension for Surtain, and the Broncos and their star defender have every reason to be massively motivated for this season. All told, that makes Surtain the horse to back in the Broncos' MVP battle — until someone else throws a wrench in the works.

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Keith Cummings


Keith Cummings has covered the Denver Broncos at Mile High Huddle since 2019. His works have been featured on,,, and