Had he been drafted last year, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II would not have been allowed to keep his No. 2 jersey in the NFL.
After the NFL changes its number rules this offseason, defensive backs will now be allowed to wear single-digit numbers. So will the rookie cornerback wear No. 2 with the Denver Broncos?
“I don’t know,” Surtain said during his introductory press conference on April 30. “Hopefully. We’ll see, though.”
Surtain will be allowed by league rules to wear the number, but he might have to compensate Broncos wide receiver Kendall Hinton. After wearing No. 2 at Wake Forest, Hinton kept the number when he signed with Denver as an undrafted free agent last spring.
The Broncos shared a preview of what Surtain would look like wearing orange and blue on Denver’s Instagram page:
Regardless of what number Surtain wears, there’s no doubt the Broncos are thrilled to have him joining the team.
“As you scout the other Alabama players, No. 2 sticks out,” general manager George Paton said on April 30. “He always did on tape. What really impressed us about Pat is the intangibles. Everything off the field. He’s smart. He’s a great teammate. He’s great in the locker room and he’s great in the community.
“That’s really what resonated with us …. He’s long, he’s athletic. He fits everything Vic [Fangio] wants in a corner. He can play man, he can play zone and he can press. He tackles and he’s physical.”
He’s everything the team needs in a cornerback — just ask Champ Bailey.