The Denver Broncos will be content with their performance in the 2021 NFL draft. The team picked Patrick Surtain II, Javonte Williams and Quinn Meinerz among others and will be hoping their rookies will play a big role for the team next season.
But of all their picks, the team will expect more from Surtain than they will from the rest of their draft class. Here's why.
Why Patrick Surtain II will be the best player of the Denver Broncos' 2021 draft class
#1 - The Denver Broncos are a defensive football team
The Denver Broncos have had a middle-of-the-pack or better defense every season since 2014, including the two years they finished with a 5-11 record.
The team suffocated opposition quarterbacks in the passing game from 2014 to arguably 2018. During that stretch, the Denver Broncos had one of the best defenses in NFL history, who also led them to a Super Bowl win in 2016. Put simply, defense is the priority in Denver.
If the Broncos pick a defensive player in the first round, it's because they have done their homework. Their last defensive first-round pick was Bradley Chubb in 2018 and he has worked out well despite suffering a season-ending injury in 2019.
In addition to Chubb, the Broncos' last several defensive first-round draft picks, including Shane Ray, Bradley Roby, Sylvester Williams, Derek Wolfe and Von Miller, have all stuck with the team for at least a few seasons.
It is safe to say that the Broncos usually hit home runs when they pick defensive players in the first round of the draft.
#2 - Vic Fangio's defense
Head Coach Vic Fangio's defenses have been anywhere from solid to great throughout the better part of the last decade and longer.
Additionally, Vic Fangio's scheme helps relieve pressure off cornerbacks like Patrick Surtian II because it lets them sit back in zones more often.
Coach Fangio has been a defensive mastermind throughout his career and his belief in Surtain is an indicator that he has big plans for the young cornerback.
#3 - Vets Galore
The more quality veteran players around a new rookie, the better it is for his development.
The Denver Broncos have veteran cornerbacks Ronald Darby, Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan to give advice to the rookie, explain situations and schemes, and provide examples for Patrick Surtain II.
Patrick Surtain II has the luxury of taking his time and learning from the team's veterans, unlike rookie defensive players on other teams. He'll also get easier assignments first since there are several veterans on the team that can handle tougher matchups.
All these factors put Patrick Surtain II in a position to not only be the Denver Broncos' best rookie player but also one of the favorites to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.