Tarell Brown signs with New England Patriots: re-ordering cornerback depth chart

4 of 4

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan (26) breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews (13) in the second quarter in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bradley Fletcher

2. Malcolm Butler

1. Logan Ryan

After repeatedly getting burned by Dez Bryant last season, Fletcher isn’t exactly the most feared cornerback in the league. But he is ranked higher than Brown for the simple reason that he has made some plays in the past few years, totaling three interceptions and 38 passes defended over the course of his two-year stint in Philly.

In fact, Fletcher actually led the NFL in passes defended last season with 22 break-ups. Say what you want about his rough outings against Bryant, but there’s reason to believe that Fletcher could be a useful cog in pass defense this season.

Super Bowl hero Butler is slated to start in 2015 because… well, because he was the hero in Super Bowl XLIX. But that was just one of the accomplishments of Butler in his rookie season.

The West Alabama product managed to climb from undrafted anonymity to glory on the biggest stage because of his scrappy and fiery play, work ethic, and commitment to the Patriot Way. As a result, he will be a Week 1 starter as long as he continues to prove himself in a heated training camp environment next week.

Ryan appears to be the No. 1 guy right now, and it’s because he’s really stood out during OTAs and minicamp. Out of this group of ten corners, Ryan is the longest-tenured Patriot and thus the most familiar with the defensive system.

2015 will mark Ryan’s third year in the league, so it’s now or never for the Rutgers product to perform at the highest level. He’s gone from a clueless rookie (his words, not mine) who impressed in his first season to a sophomore in a crowded cornerback group; what will his third year hold?

It’s hard to be all-in on Ryan, but if you trust in the Patriots’ player development practices, you won’t complain too much when you see Ryan pegged as the No. 1 corner in Week 1.

Next: Bills chat with BuffaLowDown editor Dennis Amo