ENGLEWOOD, Colo. The Denver Broncos and new general manager George Paton took a different path to select Patrick Surtain II with the # 9 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Without the benefit of the scouting combination or in-person visits to team complexes, most NFL teams have made concerted efforts to gather as much information as possible about potential clients they were considering.
But Paton deliberately went into stealth mode, with a total communications blackout that led to Denver’s selection of Surtain on Thursday night.
‘I knew the family, I knew it [his] Dad, I knew where he was from, ”Paton said Friday. We tried to hide our interest a bit.
“I’ve never talked to Patrick; I’ve never zoomed in with him. I said to our coaches, ‘Don’t call him.’ I said to our scouts, “Don’t call, don’t Zoom.” “Didn’t go to pro day in Alabama. This is a kid we targeted; this is a kid we wanted. We’re lucky he was there.”
That doesn’t mean Paton didn’t have enough information after all. He was the director of professional personnel in Miami when Surtain’s father, Patrick Sr., was a corner kick with the Dolphins. The Broncos had also amassed three years of reconnaissance reports on Surtain II from his time in Alabama.
Alabama coach Nick Saban was also the Dolphins’ head coach in 2005 and 2006 – Paton’s last two seasons with Miami before joining the Minnesota Vikings in 2007 as director of player staff.
For his part, Surtain said his agent had told him he could “always” be selected once the Detroit Lions deal with Oregon Penei Sewell with the number 7 on Thursday night.
‘I got the call right away [before the No. 9 selection]. I realized it was a Denver area code, so I knew which team would pick me, “Surtain said.” I was very excited and emotional at the same time. It’s a very exciting feeling. “
Surtain added that for the past few weeks he had spoken to Jerry Jeudy, a former Alabama teammate who selected Denver in the first round last year, but the two had not even discussed the possibility of becoming NFL teammates.
“We haven’t talked about joining the same team, but it’s kind of crazy how things all circle together,” said Surtain. “I know he’s probably very excited, and I know I’m very excited to … reunite with him.”
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