ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Two members of the Broncos' secondary have added league-wide honors for their 2022 season.
On Friday, the Associated Press announced that Pat Surtain II was named a first-team All-Pro selection for his 2022 campaign and safety Justin Simmons was named a second-team selection. The Broncos were the only team with two secondary players picked to the AP's All-Pro teams.
For Surtain, this is just the most recent of several prestigious picks, as he earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in December and a first-team selection to the NFLPA's Players' All Pro Team on Wednesday.
Surtain, who was an All-Rookie Team selection in 2021, improved in his second NFL season to become respected as perhaps the best cornerback in the league. As he battled some of the league's top wideouts, including Davante Adams and DK Metcalf, Surtain was one of the toughest defenders. When quarterbacks weren't avoiding throwing his way, Surtain picked off two passes and recorded 10 passes defensed. He also recorded the second-best Pro Football Focus grade among cornerbacks.
Surtain is the youngest player in Broncos history to earn AP first-team All-Pro honors and is the first Bronco to be named to the team since Von Miller, Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib were selected 2016.
From the start of the season, Surtain's play earned widespread acclaim from current and former players alike, who clearly could tell they were watching a special player in action.
"Surtain really came in a played like an All Pro Corner from day 1," former NFL defensive back Darius Butler tweeted. "One of the best CB prospects to touch the league in a while."
Surtain now has the credentials to back up Butler's argument, and as he heads into his third NFL season, his reputation as perhaps the league's premier corner is hard to dispute. As Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said recently: "I think he's the best."
Simmons, who missed five games, still finished the 2022 season tied for most interceptions in the NFL with six, a career high. He also had 69 total tackles, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery.
This is Simmons' third time as an AP second-team All-Pro, as he earned the distinction for his 2019 and 2021 seasons.