stephon-gilmore-club-hand

Can Stephon Gilmore become a #1 CB?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Stephon Gilmore is probably the quietest player on the team. Seriously, has the guy said a word? When he does open his mouth,  he’s very soft-spoken, but obviously most Bills fans can care less as long as he does his job on the field.

When you look at Gilmore’s physical attributes, he totally passes the smell test. Its the size of him that really sticks out. He’s pretty physical for a CB and he reminds me of a young Antoine Winfield. Whenever a cornerback can make tackles and support the run, I tend to think we look at them differently than a CB who is just a cover guy.

Not to get all blue collar and crap, but fans like physical play from their defense and when you have a CB who normally just covers, they tend to not get the same level of respect. Show an edge in the secondary and you’ll get more props from fans.

Yet, for Gilmore’s first two seasons in Buffalo, I think we’ve judged the book by its cover instead of really looking into seeing if he’s been developing.

He looks like Tarzan, but he’s playing like Jane would probably be too harsh, but it might be in the same ballpark. According to PFF, Gilmore gave up 49 catches for 736 yards passing in 16 games 2012 and 41 catches for 575 yards in 11 games in 2011. For both seasons, Gilmore wasn’t even ranked in the top 50 for CBs by the site. I know you could put an asterisk next to his 2013 season because he missed time because of his preseason injury and played with a club on his hand. However, there’s been nothing to tell me Gilmore was worth a 1st round pick.

Obviously, its still earlier in his career, but Gilmore needs to step up this season. With Byrd gone, the secondary needs a new go-to guy who strikes fear into the hearts of QBs around the league. You don’t select a player in the top 12 of the draft to be just a player.

The Bills are playing some killer QBs this year (Manning, Stafford, Brady, Rodgers, and Rivers) to go along with some decent WRs (Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace, and Dwayne Bowe). Gilmore is entering his magical 3rd year and that’s normally the year you should come into your own.

We can only hope he owns up to his reputation fans have given him or he’ll end up being owned by the opposition.

Joe

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