The New England Patriots have struggled at corneberback over the years but when they were able to acquire Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 everything was changed. Talib was pretty much a lockdown corner who could cover anyone and everyone. When he covered Jimmy Graham, he held him to 0 catches. Also when Talib took on the challenge of Andre Johnson, he held him to 0 catches as well.
The loss of Talib didn’t stop the Patriots from making moves this off season as they were able to bring in arguably the top cornerback in the NFL, Darrelle Revis and add Brandon Browner to supplement Revis. With Revis as a lockdown corner, look for the Patriots corners to have a monster year. So let’s dive into the Patriots cornerback depth heading into the 2014 season.
LCB) Darrelle Revis
Regarded at the best cornerback in the NFL, he should be able to sure up any issues the Patriots secondary could have had entering this season. One thing that the Patriots will benefit out of having Revis will be they don’t have to throw against him one-to-two times a year. Revis won’t have high interception numbers due to the fact that no one throws the ball his way. I except him to have a lockdown year next to eventually Browner and McCourty.
Revis’ numbers won’t blow you away but just ask any QB-WR tandem, you don’t want to throw into “Revis Island”.
My 2014 Darrelle Revis Projection:
55(up 5) combined tackles, 10(down 1) pass defections, 2(-) forced fumbles, 3(up 2) fumble recoveries, 3(up 1) interceptions and 1.0(-) sacks
Note: He will also be a Pro-Bowler
RBC) Alfonzo Dennard
When he is on the field he is a great slot corner. He is quick and good with his hands. Dennard will draw most of the outside work until Browner comes back. Dennard is supposed to be back at court on October 8th for his DUI hearing after already being locked up for assaulting a police officer. If this kids’ antics get any worse look for him to be cut lose. He did have offseason shoulder surgery so we’ll see how he bounces back this upcoming season.
My 2014 Alfonzo Dennard Projection:
15 games, 43(up 3) combined tackles, 4(down 4) pass deflections, 1(up 1) forced fumble, 0(-) fumble recoveries, 1(-) interception and 0.5(up 0.5) sacks
3) Logan Ryan
This kid is quick and very athletic. He has an instinct for finding the ball and had a great season last year. He will be entering his second season so we’ll see how he matures and hope he doesn’t take a step back like Patriots cornerbacks are known to. With Revis and Dennard having injury issues and Browner serving a suspension look for Ryan to get lots of looks.
My 2014 Logan Ryan Projection:
45(up 10) combined tackles, 7(down 3) pass deflections, 1(-) forced fumble, 1(up 1) fumble recovery, 4(down 1) interceptions and 0.0(down 1.5) sacks
Coming of a season in which he played limited time for Seattle, this kid is ready to step up into a big role for the Patriots. He will miss the first four games of the season for failing a drug test but he is tall, physical and can match up with about any of the leagues best receivers which is a huge weapon.
My 2014 Brandon Browner Projection:
12 games, 33(up 14) combined tackles, 4(down 6) pass deflections, 1(up 1) forced fumble, 1(up 1) fumble recovery, 3(up 2) interceptions and 1.0(up 1.0) sacks
Personally not a fan of Arrington. He has good hands but gives up way too many big plays. A couple of years ago he was one of the worst CB’s in the league as passing yards given up. He is a good option as the fifth best CB though. Arrington did have groin surgery this past season so we’ll see if it slows him down any.
My 2014 Kyle Arrington Projection:
30 (down 32) combined tackles, 4(down 9) pass deflections, 0(down 2) forced fumbles, 0(-) fumble recoveries, 1(-) interception and 0.0(down 2.0) sacks
Key losses at cornerback:
*Aqib Talib: 2013 numbers 13 games, 33 combined tackles, 13 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 4 interceptions, and 0.0 sacks
Cornerbacks on current roster who need to fight for their spot:
Patriots CB Depth Chart Grade and Reason: B+
Whenever you have one of the best players at that position you know you’re going to be pretty solid at that spot. One of my main concerns with this unit is their health. Will the groins, hamstrings and shoulders all be able to hold up to have a productive season out there. If everyone can stay healthy and Browner plays at the level he is capable of this unit will be electric. Watch out for the Patriots cornerbacks come the 2014 season.