By Isaiah Houde
No one has consistently led the New England Patriots’ defense in recent years like Devin McCourty has.
Since 2010, he has been the team’s highest graded defender five times, according to Pro Football Focus. The only player to be named more than once on this list was Stephon Gilmore — who has taken the reign in the past two seasons.
McCourty came into New England as a rookie cornerback and dominated from the moment he stepped onto the field. He recorded seven interceptions in his rookie season along with 17 passes deflected and two forced fumbles. He played one more season as a cornerback, before he converted to the Patriots’ starting safety role.
He’s only missed five regular season games in nine seasons with the team, and he’s one of the very few players that has been with New England for the past nine years. Defensive end Andre Carter took the helm in 2011, but McCourty regained his spot as the highest graded defender in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Gilmore has had two incredible seasons and has taken the spot the past two years — deservingly...