Alabama Football: Patrick Surtain scores pick-6 in NFL debut

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football fans are used to seeing Surtain dominate

Over the course of his Alabama football career, Patrick Surtain II only had four interceptions and scored one touchdown. In his first-ever game as an NFL player, he got a pick-6.

Surtain was drafted by the Denver Broncos early in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was taken because of his elite abilities and his football IQ. He can read an offense better than anyone at his level, and he has the athleticism to make plays on a consistent basis.

Surtain hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps with an elite NFL career. His first test was against the Minnesota Vikings in the first week of the NFL preseason, and he lived up to his draft status by taking an interception to the house. 

Minnesota quarterback Jake Browning was looking to get a first down by throwing down the sideline. Surtain read his eyes, jumped the route, and picked the ball off cleanly. His momentum got him past the receiver, and the field was open for him to stride 30 yards down the sideline into the end zone.

Surtain failed to get stats with the Crimson Tide, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It was mostly because offenses wouldn’t throw in his direction. He made a play almost every time he was targeted, and offenses learned to avoid his side of the field.

In the NFL, that won’t be the case. Even if Surtain becomes one of the best corners in the league, you can’t be afraid to throw at a defender. That means that he will get opportunities to get interceptions, and he will likely have a ton over his rookie contract.

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Surtain will have to line up against some of the best receivers and tight ends in the AFC West, including Alabama football’s Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. He has a long way to go before he’s an all-Pro corner, but this was a solid NFL debut for the former Tide star.