Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain has had a brilliant first season in the NFL. Surtain would be the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors if not for Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons drawing close to some NFL records.
Parsons (-10000) is the clear favorite to win the DROY award, followed by Surtain (+1300) and Jayson Oweh (+6000), according to Tipico Sportsbook.
Surtain has totaled 48 tackles, 12 pass breakups and four interceptions — including a 70-yard pick-six — in 14 games this season. Parsons has recording 76 tackles, 12 sacks, three pass breakups and three forced fumbles this year.
Voters love sacks, so Parsons will likely win the award, but coach Vic Fangio believes Surtain is deserving.
“He’s playing a very hard position, and one where it’s hard to find quality players at,” Fangio said Wednesday. “He’s done a great job. He’s definitely very deserving of Rookie of the Year, or any honor that could come his way.”
Similar to quarterbacks winning MVP awards, pass rushers are often the top candidates for defensive awards. In 2006, Denver cornerback Champ Bailey allowed just four receptions in man coverage. He also led the NFL with 10 interceptions, but it was Miami Dolphins pass rusher Jason Taylor who won Defensive Player of the Year honors after totaling 13.5 sacks and scoring a pair of touchdowns.
So it seems safe to assume Surtain won’t take home the DROY award, but there’s no question that he has a bright future in Denver.