Stephon Gilmore is a Buffalo Bill. Can't say that I'm shocked...because half of Buffalowins.com said so!! WOHOO! EXPERTS!!
Anyways, since everyone in Buffalo who has never seen him play is going to say that he's the greatest corner since Nate Odomes because that's how the draft goes, I reached out to the writers over at Leftover Hot Dog (Gotta love the names of these Bloguin sites) who cover South Carolina.
1) What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Gilmore's strength is his natural abilities. Gilmore ran a 4.4 second 40-yard dash at this year's NFL combine, which was the third fastest time among defensive backs in this draft class. He also ranked among the top five defensive back performers in both the 20-yard shuttle (3.94, second) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.15, fourth). His weakness is sometimes he can be inconsistent. When he loses his focus, he can get burned easy.
2) Can he support the run?
He can certainly provide run support and he knows how to "lay the wood" when needed. He is a physical player that does not shy away from contact or conducting a corner blitz.
3) Describe the best game he had at South Carolina?
Gilmore has had a lot of good games but the one that sticks out in my mind was the 2010 Alabama game. He lead the team in tackles and had two key sacks. If you recall, Bama came into town as the number one team and riding a winning streak. Gilmore had the corner spot on lockdown mode that made the defense very stingy that day and help to usher in a Gamecock win in route to a SEC East crown in 2010.
4) What kind of character or leader is he?
Gilmore leads by example. Sometimes he is quiet but he lets his playing do the talking. He is not afraid of anyone and knows what it takes to win football games. Gilmore was the leader in the secondary for USC for a number of years and it was routed in respect. The Bills got not only a good football player but a solid team player and community representative.
5) How does he match up in 1-on-1 coverage?
Some may say Gilmore does not like press coverage but that is not true. Gilmore was always matched up with the best wide out from the opposing team and remember we are talking about the SEC. Gilmore knows how to be physical, use his hands and has the quickness to recover.
6) Anything interesting about him that fans should know about?
Gilmore, coming out of high school, was named "Mr. Football" for the state of South Carolina.
7) Where do you see him in 10 yrs?
I see Gilmore still in the NFL and still a member of the Bills in 10 years. He is a solid football player that will put in the work to get better and he will be a great representative of the Bills in the community. Expect great things from him.
8) Is he a corner who can get picks or does he have hands of stone?
Gilmore has a knack for pin-pointing the ball in the air so it results in what a corner should do and that is knocking the ball down. However, he does have good hands and can get the INT so don't doubt his abilities in that category.
9) How much was Gilmore helped with other components of South Carolina's defense? Normally, if you have a great pass rush, your corner will be better because of it. Was that the case there?
The Gamecocks defense was stingy but don't let that overstate how good Gilmore is. He matched up with the best and shut down the best in the SEC for the last three years. He helped the defense get better as he blanketed the opposing wide out so it allows the pass rush to do its job.