Gilmore at practice with the Bills in 2015
|No. 24 – New England Patriots|
September 19, 1990|
Rock Hill, South Carolina
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Rock Hill (SC) South Pointe|
|NFL Draft:||2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2017|
Stephon Stiles Gilmore (born September 19, 1990) is an American football cornerback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). The Buffalo Bills selected him tenth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at South Carolina.
High school career
Gilmore attended South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where he played football, basketball and ran track. In football, he was a two-way player as quarterback and defensive back, and helped his team to a perfect 15–0 record and the SCHSL AAAA Division II title as a senior. Among his teammates were DeVonte Holloman and Jadeveon Clowney. Playing quarterback on offense, Gilmore rushed for 1,331 yards and 23 touchdowns and passed for 1,771 yards with 14 scores. He earned first-team all-state honors by The State and was named an All-American by Parade and EA Sports. He was also named Mr. Football for the state of South Carolina.
In track & field, Gilmore competed as a sprinter during his junior year in 2008. He recorded a PR of 11.41 seconds in the 100 meters in the prelims of the Taco Bell Classic. At the York County Meet, he took 5th in the 200 meters, at 23.14 seconds, and placed 9th in the 400 meters, with a time of 54.94 seconds. He was also a member of the 4 × 100 m relay (43.10s) squad.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Gilmore was listed as the No. 2 overall prospect from South Carolina in the class of 2009. He chose South Carolina over Alabama, Tennessee, and Clemson.
Gilmore graduated from South Pointe High School in December 2008 to enroll at South Carolina early, and participate in spring practice. It worked out, as he came out of spring as a starter at cornerback. Appearing in all 12 games for the Gamecocks, Gilmore was the rare true freshman to start at cornerback in the Southeastern Conference in 2009. He had 52 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks, and nine passes defended, which earned him Freshman All-American honors by College Football News and Phil Steele. He has occasionally appeared on offense, with a career total of 2 attempted passes (1 complete) and 6 rushes during regular season games. He also completed a 29-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery in the 4th quarter of the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Gilmore was one of 37 defensive backs to attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana and completed all of the required combine drills. He finished second among all defensive backs in the short shuttle, tied for fourth in the 40-yard dash and the three-cone drill, finished sixth in the broad jump, and seventh in the vertical jump. On March 28, 2012, Gilmore attended South Carolina's pro day, along with Alshon Jeffrey, Antonio Allen, Melvin Ingram, and 11 other prospects. He opted to stand on his combine numbers and only run positional drills for scouts and team representatives from all 32 NFL teams, including New York Jets' head coach Rex Ryan. At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Gilmore was projected to be a first round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked the second best cornerback prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and NFL analyst Adam Rank.
|Stephon Gilmore's Combine workout|
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 1 in
|9 1⁄4 in
|4.38 s||1.47 s||2.40 s||3.94 s||6.61 s||36 in
|10 ft 3 in
|All values from NFL Combine.|
The Buffalo Bills selected Gilmore in the first round (10th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was the second cornerback selected behind Morris Claiborne and was the highest selected Gamecocks' cornerback since Dunta Robinson in 2004.
|Buffalo Bills select Stephon Gilmore|
On May 17, 2012, the Buffalo Bills signed Gilmore to a four-year, $12.08 million rookie contract that is fully guaranteed and also includes a signing bonus of $7.22 million with a fifth-year option.
He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Buffalo Bills' season-opener at the New York Jets and recorded five combined tackles during a 48–28 loss. The following week, he recorded a season-high seven solo tackles in the Bills' 35–17 win against the Kansas City Chiefs. On December 9, 2012, Gilmore collected two combined tackles and recorded his first career interception off of a pass by quarterback Sam Bradford during a 15–12 loss to the St. Louis Rams. He finished his rookie season with a total of 61 combined tackles (52 solo), 16 pass deflections, and one interception in 16 games and 16 starts. The Buffalo Bills finished with a 6-10 record and did not qualify for the playoffs. On December 31, 2012, the Buffalo Bills fired head coach Chan Gailey after the third consecutive season of finishing last in the AFC East.
On April 3, 2013, Gilmore changed his jersey number from No. 27 to No. 24 after it became available due to the departure of Terrence McGee. He entered training camp slated as the starting cornerback alongside Leodis McKelvin. On August 24, 2013, Gilmore recorded five combined tackles during the Bills' third preseason game at the Washington Redskins. He left in the third quarter of the 30–17 loss after suffering an injury to his wrist. On August 26, 2013, head coach Doug Marrone announced Gilmore suffered a fractured wrist, had undergone surgery, and was expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
He returned in Week 6 and recorded three combined tackles during a 27–24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. On November 3, 2013, Gilmore recorded a season-high seven combined tackles as the Bills lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 23–13. On December 8, 2013, he made two combined tackles, two pass deflections, and intercepted Mike Glennon during a 27–6 loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He finished his second season with 35 combined tackles (30 solo), ten pass deflections, and two interceptions in 11 games and nine starts.
On January 25, 2014, the Buffalo Bills hired former Detroit Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz as their new defensive coordinator after Mike Pettine departed to accept the head coaching position with the Cleveland Browns. Head coach Doug Marrone named Gilmore and McKelvin the starting cornerbacks to begin the 2014 regular season.
He missed the Buffalo Bills' 23–20 season-opening victory at the Chicago Bears after he sustained a groin injury. On September 21, 2014, he recorded a season-high six solo tackles during a 22–10 loss to the San Diego Chargers. In Week 8, Gilmore collected five combined tackles, deflected a pass, and intercepted quarterback Geno Smith during a 43–23 victory at the New York Jets. Gilmore missed the Bills' Weeks 17 victory at the New England Patriots after he suffered a concussion during a 26–24 loss at the Oakland Raiders the previous week. He finished his second and final season under head coach Doug Marrone with 46 combined tackles (38 solo), six pass deflections, and three interceptions in 14 games and 14 starts. The Buffalo Bills finished second in the AFC East with a 9-7 record, but did not qualify for the playoffs. On December 31, 2014, Marrone announced his resignation as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
On August 28, 2015, the Buffalo Bills exercised the fifth-year option on Gilmore's rookie contract, paying him a salary of $11.08 million for 2016. New head coach Rex Ryan named Gilmore and Ronald Darby the starting cornerback duo to begin the regular season.
He started the Buffalo Bills' season-opener against the Indianapolis Colts and recorded a season-high six solo tackles during their 27–14 victory. In Week 5, he recorded one solo tackle, a career-high four pass break ups, and intercepted a pass by Tennessee Titans' quarterback Marcus Mariota during their 14–13 victory. On December 6, 2015, Gilmore collected two combined tackles before leaving the Bills' 30–21 win against the Houston Texans after suffering a shoulder injury while tackling running back Akeem Hunt. On December 16, 2015, the Buffalo Bills placed Gilmore on injured reserve for the rest of the season after he underwent surgery the previous day to repair his torn labrum. He finished his first season under defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman with 36 solo tackles, a career-high 18 pass deflections, and three interceptions in 12 games and 12 starts. They did not qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year after finishing with an 8-8 record.
Head coach Rex Ryan retained Darby and Gilmore as the starting cornerbacks to start the 2016 season. In Week 2, Gilmore collected a season-high six solo tackles during the Bills' 37-31 loss to the New York Jets. The next week, he made three combined tackles, four pass deflections, and intercepted Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer twice in their 33–18 victory. This marked his first multi-interception game of his career. On November 20, 2016, Gilmore made six combined tackles, three pass deflections, and intercepted quarterback Andy Dalton twice during the Bills' 16–12 victory at the Cincinnati Bengals.
On December 27, 2016, the Buffalo Bills fired head coach Rex Ryan after losing to the Miami Dolphins and falling to 7-8. Running backs coach Anthony Lynn was appointed to interim head coach for the last game of the season. Gilmore was inactive for the Bills' 30–10 Week 17 loss at the New York Jets after he sustained a concussion the previous week against the Miami Dolphins. He finished the 2016 season with 48 combined tackles (42 solo), 12 pass deflections, and a career-high five interceptions in 15 games and 15 starts. His five interceptions were the most by a Bills' player since Jairus Byrd intercepted five passes in 2012. On January 23, 2017, the Buffalo Bills announced that Gilmore was voted to the 2017 Pro Bowl. He also received the Ed Block Courage Award.
New England Patriots
Head coach Bill Belichick named Gilmore the No. 1 starting cornerback alongside Malcolm Butler. He made his Patriots' debut in their season-opener against the Kansas City Chiefs and recorded four combined tackles and deflected a pass during a 42-27 loss. He missed three games (Weeks 6-8) after suffering a concussion during a Week 5 victory at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On December 17, 2017, Gilmore recorded a career-high eight solo tackles and broke up a pass during a 27-24 win at the Pittsburgh Steelers. He finished his first season with the Patriots with a career-high 50 combined tackles (47 solo), nine pass deflections, and two interceptions in 13 games and 13 starts.
The New England Patriots finished atop the AFC East with a 13-3 record and received a first-round bye. On January 13, 2018, Gilmore started in his first career playoff game and recorded one tackle and two pass deflections as the Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-14 in the AFC Divisional round. After defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots would go on to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. In the AFC Championship Game, Gilmore had a key pass deflection late in the fourth quarter. On February 4, 2018, Gilmore started in Super Bowl LII and recorded four solo tackles and two pass deflections during the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
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