After a big breakout season in 2011, New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington has been able to hold off second-year CB Ras-I Dowling for the right cornerback spot next to Devin McCourty. Arrington has performed at a higher level than Dowling this training camp, and, after last season’s seven-interception performance, there is no reason to think that Arrington isn’t a good enough starting cornerback in this league.
Interceptions are nice, but there are far more important things to look at. A solid tackler, Kyle Arrington only missed three tackles last season and was one of the best players in the league in this regard. He also defended 13 passes to lead the team and was the Patriots best corner in 2011 after McCourty’s disappointing season. While McCourty is the better corner overall due to his athleticism and coverage skills, Arrington has shown he is a legitimate No. 2 CB as well.
Granted, he will need to keep developing, but I love the added value that Arrington provides in other aspects of the game. He is a sound tackler- as shown above- who can help out in run support, and he has the speed and ability to effectively rush the passer on cornerback blitzes.
Ty Law is one of the greatest defensive players in New England Patriots history and was arguably the best cornerback in the league in his prime. Known for his physical play, Law is the reason why, sadly, more rules are enforced on cornerbacks. Thus, making it more difficult for CBs nowadays, like Arrington, to cover receivers.
In any case, Law had some high praise to deliver when speaking about the 26-year-old Hofstra product.
“I think that he has that same drive and that same motivation. ‘Everyone’s talking about [Devin] McCourty, everyone’s talking about [Ras-I] Dowling. But nobody’s talking about me. What about me? I’m out here making plays. I’ve got seven interceptions.’ No one is really talking about him, so I think he’s still hungry to prove to everybody, ‘You’re going to think about me, you’re going to talk about me.’ I see that in him, and if he continues to keep working like he is, he may be one of the No. 1 corners out there.”
With another big year, Kyle Arrington will certainly gain some more national attention. For now, he’s locked in as the Patriots No. 2 corner, and he’s a solid starter at that.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.