Every so often in professional sports, a special athlete comes along that encompasses every single attribute a team could possibly ask for. In this case, former Rutgers University cornerback Devin McCourty has been a dream come true for the New England Patriots.
Last year, the Patriots selected him with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. The Patriots saw a lot of upside in Devin and decided he’d be a good fit for their young, revamped defense and storied franchise. When talking about being drafted, Devin says, “It’s a remarkable feeling, just to kind of see a team wanted you and they selected you in the NFL draft. You see everything you always wished for come true in one night.”
When asked about getting an opportunity to play as a rookie last season, he said, “Coming into the season, I didn’t know what to expect. We had a veteran corner who got hurt and he was placed on IR. Our corners coach came in and told me I would have to step up and maybe play sooner than I thought and sooner then everyone expected. One thing I was excited about is I knew that we had guys that were winners.”
McCourty instantly stepped into the starting line-up for the Pats and recorded 7 interceptions. Only 7-time Pro Bowler Ed Reed had more picks with 8. Devin helped the Patriots’ defense lead the league in interceptions with 25 and he played an integral role in leading the Patriots to a 14-2 regular season record.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl, where he had the AFC’s lone interception in the game. Devin speaks highly of guys like Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis, who he was teammates with in Honolulu. He grew up watching those guys win Super Bowls, so to be on the same field and same team as them was a special memory.
When it comes to Devin McCourty, it’s clear he is focused on being the best he can be. He’s not just an amazing player on the field but also carries himself well off the field. His competitive mindset, work ethic, freak athleticism, instincts and sheer ability all complement his capability to fit into a team and adapt to all situations. Off the field, Devin is a laid back, family-oriented guy. This is fitting, since his twin brother Jason also plays cornerback in the NFL for the Tennessee Titans. It’s evident by seeing Devin’s cleats that the brothers are extremely close: last year, Devin wrote his number and his brother’s number on his cleats for good luck.
There’s no doubt the Patriots hit a home run with their first round pick from last season. Devin came into the organization and put in the required time, effort and hard work, meshing well with his teammates and performing at the highest level. I look for Devin to continue to work hard and help the Patriots build a young defense to get back to the Super Bowl.