After months of breathless speculation, the Broncos have their first pick, cornerback Pat Surtain II.
As NFL experts noted, the Broncos got perhaps the best defensive player in the draft.
"Surtain is my favorite corner in the draft," NFL.com’s Chad Reuter wrote. "He simply stops passes from reaching their intended targets. He is a strong press corner, and his ability to play the ball in the air is special. The Broncos invested in cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller in free agency, but that didn't prevent them from making this pick. Don't overlook the fact that teams need four solid corners nowadays, especially given the potential for injuries at the position."
In analyzing each first-round pick, former NFL cornerback Bucky Brooks said he liked what he saw from Surtain during his time at Alabama.
"Surtain is a polished cover corner with rock-solid fundamentals and exceptional instincts," Brooks wrote. "He plays the game like a savvy vet and his overall consistency in coverage is a testament to his diligent work on the practice field and in the film room."
Those skills could open up even greater possibilities for the Broncos' defense in the future, as The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer wrote.
"Surtain should be a special player with shutdown skills to open up the blitz packages," Iyer wrote, "but the Broncos get knocked a little by going for a future-minded quasi luxury pick."
The analytics-based analysis from Pro Football Focus also championed the selection.
"[H]ead coach Vic Fangio has a sure-thing lockdown cornerback," they wrote. "Surtain II, the son of former NFL cornerback Patrick Surtain, is a truly elite technical player at every facet of the cornerback position. He can press receivers out of the game and also play zone at a very high level. Surtain is a complete player."
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Surtain's new Broncos teammates were eager to welcome their new lockdown corner to Denver, too.
"No Fly Zone 2.0 !!!" Von Miller wrote.