Champ Bailey Thinks Pat Surtain ll Has HOF Potential

Patrick Surtain ll

Getty Patrick Surtian ll with Roger Goodell

Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain ll has lived up to his expectations as a rookie and into training camp during his second season. Many people have compared Surtain to former Bronco and hall of famer Champ Bailey.

During an interview with “The Pivot Podcast” with former NFL players, Ryan Clark; Fred Taylor; and Channing Crowder, Surtain heard a glowing review from Bailey.

Taylor said he talked with Bailey about Surtain and the hall of famer said, “With his size potential, the rookie campaign that he put together, he definitely has hall of fame potential.”

After being drafted 9th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Surtain was named to the All-Rookie team. The breakout corner also totaled up four interceptions with his first ever pick coming against former first-overall pick Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Of those four interceptions, Surtain returned one for a touchdown against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

It wasn’t just rookie quarterbacks that struggled against Surtain, it was every gun-slinger that he faced. According to Pro Football Focus, the rookie only allowed a 69.7 passer rating when targeted. That ranked lowest among rookie corners and the eighth lowest overall.

Surtain Shutdown Top WRs

The second-year cornerback has been dominant in training camp after the first week. Russell Wilson has been unable to connect with Denver’s No. 1 wide receiver Courtland Sutton, because of how well Surtain has played.

Surtain has made play after play on Sutton giving him no room to make a catch.

During his rookie season, Surtain shutdown Ja’Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham Jr., and Terry McLaurin. None of those four wide receivers had a single receiving yard with Surtain covering them.

In man coverage, quarterbacks had a 70.1 passer rating when throwing at the breakout corner. That was also the best among all rookies.

Broncos Not Surprised By Surtain’s Growth

Everyone around the Broncos’ facility has been high on Surtain. Even on draft night, general manager George Paton made sure he drafted his favorite prospect with his first ever draft pick as the leader of the orange and blue. In the war room Paton praised Surtain saying, he was the safest pick of the draft and best defensive player in the draft.

During the first week of training camp this year, Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero was asked if he was surprised with Surtain’s progress, “He has high standards for himself, we have high expectations, so no not at all.”

Evero was with one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL in Jalen Ramsey last season with the Rams and was asked if Surtain is ready to be in the Ramsey category, “We’re just worried about him being his very best self.” Evero added, “Pat is every bit of equal (as Ramsey) in terms of just coming out and working every day and looking to get better.”

Broncos starting safety Kareem Jackson, who used to play corner, is recognizing how well Surtain has improved as well. “He’s been working since day one, he’s been getting better each and every day.” Jackson continued, “For me I’m always excited to come in and just see what step he’ll take next. He never disappoints with that. It’s definitely a privilege to have a guy like that out at corner because as a safety you know you don’t have to worry about him much.”

It’s clear that it won’t be a surprise for anyone when Surtain makes it to his first Pro Bowl, becomes an All-Pro corner in the NFL, and in some people’s eyes, a hall of famer.