2021 NFL Draft: Denver Broncos made questionable selection with Patrick Surtain Jr.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: Patrick Surtain II poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected ninth by the Denver Broncos during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: Patrick Surtain II poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected ninth by the Denver Broncos during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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When taking a look at what some of the K.C. Chiefs divisional rivals did in the first round of the NFL Draft last night, Chiefs fans still have to feel pretty good about where they stand in the AFC West. Truthfully, no AFC West team was going to close the gap on the Chiefs with their first round pick but the thing that stands out lies in some of the directions that the divisional opponents took in trying to improve their team.

Starting with the L.A. Chargers, they probably made the smartest pick in taking Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater 13th overall. The Chargers needed offensive line help and Slater was the best tackle in the draft not named Penei Sewell. Then of course, the Raiders surprised no one when they yet again took a player that played in the College Football Playoff in offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood. The issue with that pick is Leatherwood was seen as a fringe first round player and the Raiders took him at 17th overall. Lastly, there was the Denver Broncos selecting Alabama defensive back Patrick Surtain ll at 9th overall.

For nostalgic Chiefs fans, seeing the son of former Chiefs defensive back Patrick Surtain go to the Broncos hurts a little bit, but at the same time the pick is questionable for Denver.

Before I give my thoughts on the pick, let me just say I really think the Broncos made a mistake not taking Justin Fields, who many thought wouldn’t make it out of the top 7 picks. I get that the Broncos traded for Teddy Bridgewater and still have Drew Lock, so that would’ve been a crowded quarterback room. However, when someone who could have been a franchise quarterback was available, and you’ve shown that you clearly don’t believe in any particular option on your roster, it seems like a mistake.

Why the Patrick Surtain pick is a head-scratcher

Typically in that scenario you take Fields and figure out the rest later because he’s too good to pass up. It’s worth considering that maybe the Broncos just weren’t high on Fields which is understandable, but that still doesn’t mean the Surtain pick isn’t questionable.

Here’s why the Surtain pick is a head-scratcher to me: If the Broncos ever have hope of doing anything in the next ten years they have to beat the Chiefs and, with the Surtain pick, I’m not sure if that moves the needle. Some like the idea of loading up on defense to try and stop Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense to beat them that way. There’s no denying Denver’s secondary is loaded now with Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan, Justin Simmons, and now Surtain. However, Denver’s defense wasn’t the issue.

Let’s look back at the two Chiefs-Broncos matchups from last season. In Week 7, on October 25th at Mile High, the Chiefs offense wasn’t great. Mahomes was 15/23 for 200 yards and just 1 TD and the Chiefs offense was 0-for-8 on third down. The offense only scored 21 of the team’s 43 total points. In Week 13, on December 6th at Arrowhead Stadium, Patrick Mahomes had another inefficient game going 25/40 for 318 yards and just 1 touchdown—the offense’s lone score of the day.

The Denver defense actually gave Mahomes and the Chiefs offense fits last year, but the problem was the Broncos offense was so bad that it didn’t matter in either game. That’s what makes the Surtain pick questionable for me. I mean, you made your secondary stronger, but the secondary wasn’t really your issue before. yYou can really only hope to contain the Chiefs offense, not stop it completely, and they were already successful in doing that. Surtain just doesn’t move the needle for me, if I’m a Broncos fan.

I don’t want to pretend like I am a Broncos expert because I’m not and I didn’t watch many of their games last year, but it was pretty clear most of their problems were on offense and they did nothing to fix that last night. Sure, they still have an opportunity to add to the team through the rest of the draft and Surtain isn’t a bad player either. I am not saying that at all. But from a Chiefs fan’s perspective, this move doesn’t scare me at all.

Next. A full seven-round mock for the Chiefs. dark