“Silent Gilmore”

6. Stephon Gilmore– Offense has dominated this. It’s about time the other side of the football received some love. The New England Patriots defense was lights out for most of 2019. They were the reasons why the team was able to win games. Not the offense or the quarterback which is strange saying. The catalyst behind their defense was a cornerback who signed a free agent contract with them in 2017. He’s played in the AFC East his entire career. Stephon Gilmore rounds out the first half of my list. He’s my sixth-best player entering the 2020 season and my top ranked defensive player.

He’s an athletic guy with a remarkable football IQ. Stephon is fluid in his movement to travel with the quickest wide receivers. His run is reminiscent to Darrelle Revis back with the New York Jets. Just as Darrelle did, Stephon travels with the best receiver on the offense then lets his play do the rest of the talking. One thing he doesn’t receive credit for is his tackling in the open field. If a receiver makes a catch, they’re immediately down after the reception. In a game against the Cowboys last season, he held wide receiver Amari Cooper to zero catches. That’s what elite corners do!

Stephon is a true ball-hawk. Wherever the ball is, he is. 2019 was great to the All-Pro. Number 24 gave up one touchdown all year long. For his efforts, he won Defensive MVP becoming the first Patriot ever to win the award. I see a lot of Champ Bailey in his game. Just as the Hall of Famer did, Stephon can line up all over the field whether it’s out wide or covering slot receivers. Also as Champ did, Stephon doesn’t talk. He lets his play do the talking.



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