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Mile High Morning: Pat Surtain II lands at No. 32 in PFF's ranking of the top 101 players of 2022


The Lead

As Pro Football Focus wraps up the 2022 season, the outlet is counting down the top 101 players of the 2022 season.

Cornerback Pat Surtain II, who was named a first-team selection to PFF’s All-Pro Team in January, was bound to be toward the top of this list, too. PFF slotted him at No. 32 overall in the rankings, which treats all positions with equal value and incorporates postseason play.

"Surtain is one of the game's smoothest and most in-control cornerbacks," PFF's Sam Monson wrote. "With Denver's offense struggling, pressure was always on the defense to lock down opponents, and Surtain consistently excelled at that task. Only Sauce Gardner had a higher PFF coverage grade this season."

Surtain is ranked above other standouts at cornerback, including Jalen Ramsey, Charvarius Ward, Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Peterson and Darius Slay.

In just his second season, Surtain has earned several accolades indicating his status as one of the best players at his position, including first-team All-Pro selections by the Associated Press and NFLPA. In 2022, Surtain intercepted two passes, recorded 10 passes defensed, two tackles for loss and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete only 58.4 percent of their passes against his coverage.

Below the Fold

The offseason is a time for considering big questions and figuring out how to best answer them. ESPN’s NFL reporters identified the biggest one each team faces, and the Broncos' is all about offense — namely, how the Broncos can improve beyond just play at quarterback. And while there's uncertainty at several positions, part of the answer lies beyond just the composition of the roster.

"The Broncos haven't averaged more than 21 points a game since 2015," ESPN's Jeff Legwold wrote. "That's a locker room full of players who have yet to experience success on offense, and that might be the heaviest lift of all for new coach Sean Payton."

The Unclassifieds

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