After a decisive round of voting, Nate Clements captured the majority over the other cornerback candidates and became our first starting cornerback for the Buffalo Bills playoff drought All-Stars. We need at least one more starting cornerback for this group, so today we’ll vote from the remaining candidates.
Remember that we’ll be voting separately on a kick returner for our roster, so you only need to consider the defensive merits of these players.
Winfield was a first-round pick by the Bills in 1999, a former All-American at Ohio State. Despite only measuring at five-foot-eight and 180 pounds, Winfield would become one of the greatest run defenders to ever play cornerback. He played for the Bills through the 2003 season, and during the drought era he started 56 games in Buffalo. Winfield intercepted four passes and defended 30 during that span, but also demonstrated outstanding tackling prowess. He set his career high with 107 combined tackles in 2003. The Bills and Winfield parted ways in free agency after that season, and he played the remainder of his career for the Vikings.
The Bills drafted McGee in the fourth round of the 2003 draft, but his talent stood out from the beginning. He intercepted two passes and forced a fumble as a part-time player in his rookie season. From there, McGee developed into a starting cornerback as well as Buffalo’s starting kick returner. McGee played in 122 games, all for the Bills, and started 90. Another outstanding playmaker, he holds the franchise record for passes defended (99), and he also logged 17 interceptions. For a five-season stretch, McGee was an excellent starter. In the later part of his career, McGee struggled to stay healthy, and he only started nine games over his final three seasons.
The Bills had seen great success earlier in the decade by spending first round picks on cornerbacks, and they went back to the well in 2008 with the speedy McKelvin. A great athlete but a raw defender, McKelvin’s career was a series of ups and downs. He showed promise as a backup in his rookie year, with a two-interception game in a win against Kansas City, but a terrible decision to return a kickoff late in the 2009 season opener led to a Patriots comeback win over the Bills.
During his career, McKelvin had a reputation as a player who could handle the first 90 percent of the play effectively, but couldn’t effectively stop passes at the catch point. That led him to be yanked in and out of the starting lineup over the course of his career. He did log 13 career interceptions for the Bills, and defended 65 passes.
McKelvin played eight years in Buffalo, with 98 game appearances and 60 starts. The Bills released him in 2016, and he played one more year with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Bills added one more first round cornerback in 2012, selecting Gilmore out of South Carolina. He became an immediate starter for Buffalo, but the story with Gilmore was always one of unrealized potential. His athletic talents were apparent on the field, but he didn’t develop into a top-tier cornerback in five years with the team. Gilmore did make the Pro Bowl in 2016, and he had a season worthy of recognition in 2015 when he defended 18 passes and intercepted three. Gilmore started 66 games for the Bills, with 14 interceptions and 62 passes defended. He signed a major deal with the Patriots as a free agent in 2017.
Drayton Florence and Jabari Greer were both removed from the poll this time around because of a lack of votes in the first go-round. So choose from the four names listed above! The runner-up from this poll is still available for a flex position on our defensive roster. Next time, we have to resolve a runoff at strong safety.
Who was the second-best cornerback of the Buffalo Bills playoff drought?
This poll is closed