Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday we looked at No. 23 Patrick Chung, and the day before that it was No. 24 Brandon Fletcher. Because today marks 22 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 22, cornerback Robert McClain.
Selected by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft, McClain has most recently played for another NFC South squad, the Atlanta Falcons. Over the course of his five seasons in the league, McClain has totaled 158 tackles, two sacks, three picks and 21 passes defended. McClain has started 17 of the 63 games he’s appeared in.
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In New England, McClain stands a good chance to replace Kyle Arrington as the Patriots’ slot corner. Last season as a Falcon, McClain was a very solid player in the slot, recording two of those three interceptions in that campaign alone.
Keep in mind that McClain is up against some stiff competition to make the roster. Fellow first-year Patriots Tarell Brown and Bradley Fletcher are in a similar boat as McClain, as all three veterans are in the mix with Malcolm Butler (the best corner on the team right now), Logan Ryan (the longest-tenured Patriots corner) and promising rookie Darryl Roberts.
One of those NFL journeyman will get the chop. It could be McClain, but don’t bet your mortgage on it by any means; he showed well in the preseason game against Green Bay. And earlier this preseason, Bill Belichick called McClain one of the Pats’ hardest workers.
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 25 Daxton Swanson, No. 26 Logan Ryan, No. 27 Tavon Wilson, No. 28 James White, No. 29 LeGarrette Blount, No. 30 Duron Harmon, No. 31 Tarell Brown, No. 32 Devin McCourty, No. 33 Dion Lewis, No. 35 Jonas Gray, No. 36 Tyler Gaffney, No. 37 Jordan Richards, No. 38 Brandon Bolden, No. 39 Travaris Cadet, No. 41 Dekoda Watson, No. 42 Xzavier Dickson, No. 43 Nate Ebner, No. 44 Matthew Wells, No. 45 D.J. Lynch, No. 46 james Develin, No. 47 Michael Hoomanawanui and No. 48 Geneo Grissom.
Be sure to check back on Musket Fire tomorrow morning as we celebrate 21 days until Week 1 by profiling the owner of the No. 21 jersey, cornerback Malcolm Butler.