Patrick Surtain II had an accomplished 11-year career in the NFL as a cornerback for the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.
Surtain earned three Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro nods during his career while totaling 547 tackles, 105 pass breakups, 37 interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 7.5 sacks in 163 games.
That’s a great resume, but his son, Pat Surtain II, could top it.
The younger Surtain already has a college football national championship on his resume (with Alabama) and he was the ninth overall pick in April’s NFL draft (his dad was a second-round pick in 1998).
Denver Broncos general manager George Paton was Miami’s director of pro personnel during Surtain Sr.’s final four years with the Dolphins.
“I go way back with Patrick Sr,” Paton said in April. “We were with the Dolphins together and he was one of the better cornerbacks in the league. He was physical and he was tough. He brought it every day, but he was better in the locker room. He was better in the community, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with Pat.”
Draft pundits described Pat as more talented than his dad leading up to the draft, but the young cornerback knows he is still unproven as a pro.
“We talk about it a lot,” Pat said after being picked by Denver in the spring. “I don’t try to be too cocky because he did his thing, and I still have to reach him. I’ve got to reach that steppingstone. This is just the start for me. It’s a whole new journey and I’m just excited to start and compete.”
Pat had the benefit of growing up as the son of a Pro Bowler, similar to Peyton and Eli Manning learning the quarterback trade from their father, Archie.
“I’ve learned a lot from him,” Pat said of his dad. “Of course, he was [an 11]-year pro. Gaining his insight and perspective on things has helped me a lot on the field. His game translates a lot into my game. Learning from him and having him teach me his techniques helped shape me up for the next level.”
Denver’s 21-year-old rookie won’t start in Week 1 because the Broncos have remarkable cornerback depth, but he’ll get on the field as a rotational defensive back. When he does get on the field, Pat will apply the knowledge and skills he learned from his father, and he’ll consult his dad throughout his first season in the NFL.
“I will always get advice from him. He can always tell me my rights and wrongs. Go over tape and certain things like that just for me to get better.”
Patrick Surtain Sr.’s NFL legacy will continue on Sunday as his son faces the New York Giants, when Pat’s quest to build his own NFL legacy begins.