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Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore is a unanimous selection on the first-team All-Pro

Stephon Gilmore, Patriots

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has generated plenty of hype as a front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year. It seems he has taken a solid first step of earning the honor.

The Associated Press revealed its selections for first-team All-Pro which included Gilmore as one of the three unanimous choices.

McCaffrey’s achievement was complemented by the unanimous selections of New Orleans receiver Michael Thomas and New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore. It’s the second straight season both made the squad, Thomas doing it with an NFL-record 149 catches, Gilmore anchoring the league’s top-ranked defense.

There is no question that Gilmore is certainly more than deserving after firmly establishing himself as the league’s premier shutdown corner in the 2019 NFL season. He registered 53 tackles, 20 pass deflections, and a league-leading six receptions en route to being named first-team for the second year in a row.

This Patriots’ defense began the year as arguably one of the most formidable groups in NFL history. Although it was not long before they started to cool off significantly, they still finished the year as the best ranked defense in the league. Of course, this is in large part thanks to the efforts of Gilmore in the secondary.

The veteran will have his work cut out trying to win Defensive Player of the Year over a couple of premier pass rushers in Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt. Fortunately, the fact that he was the only defensive player unanimously voted on shows that he is putting in a strong bid.