Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Surtain II Is a Sleeper Candidate

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Patrick Surtain II was selected ninth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. In a draft that lacked a clear blue-chip defensive player, the defensive rookie of the year award is up for grabs. Here is the case for Patrick Surtain II to earn the award in the 2021 season.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Surtain II Could Be a Wise Bet

Scouting Report

Surtain was an incredible cornerback for the Alabama Crimson Tide throughout his career. His coaches spoke very highly of his character, and his tape and statistics speak for themselves in terms of his abilities on the field.

Surtain is one of the most technically refined cornerbacks to declare for the draft over the past several years. He has held his own against many top-tier receivers during his collegiate career. He also has an incredible amount of experience, with 662 snaps in his last two seasons in college (for context, that is 199 more than any other player). As if that wasn’t enough, Surtain is also a great athlete. He posted excellent numbers at his pro day, showing that he is an extremely well-rounded prospect.

Great Situation

But the reason Surtain is poised to be a sleeper defensive rookie of the year candidate is not only due to his abilities as a prospect, but also the situation in which he finds himself in Denver. Heading into the off-season, most saw Denver’s cornerback room as very weak. However, the Broncos came out and signed Kyle Fuller, who has been a consistently great cornerback his whole career. They also were able to sign Ronald Darby, who has been a solid slot cornerback for the majority of his career. After these signings, it came as a surprise that Denver selected Surtain with their ninth overall pick.

Looking at the Denver secondary now, you could make the case that it is one of the best in the league. Their starting nickel defense will consist of Kyle Fuller and Patrick Surtain on the boundary, Ronald Darby in the slot, and Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson as starting safeties. The potential of this secondary is sky high, and you could make the case for this unit to be the best in the league.

Surtain will be in a situation where he will most likely be faced with the number two receiver for his rookie season while Kyle Fuller lines up against the number one. This will put him in a great situation, as Surtain has performed well against All-Pro NFL receivers during his collegiate career, so he can easily handle a number two receiver. In addition, he will have one of the best safeties in Justin Simmons as his safety help, which is about as good as it can get from that standpoint.

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Betting Odds

Taking a look at the current Vegas odds for Defensive Rookie of the Year (via DraftKings Sportsbook on June 26, 2021), Surtain is currently at +1400 to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. This is without question a very great bet to place, as you could win $140 on a $10 bet. The favorite to win the award is Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who will be put in a tough situation playing behind a poor pass rush and run defense. The NFL has gotten more and more difficult for linebackers over the years, but Surtain is in a great situation. It is definitely not out of the question that Patrick Surtain II could be the Defensive Rookie of the Year this season and it might be wise to place a wager on him to win the award.

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