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Update: Vote for McCourty here.
In one of the finest rookie seasons in New England Patriots history, cornerback Devin McCourty has been named a finalist for the 2010 NFL Rookie of the Year award.
The 2010 first round pick from Rutgers has been tremendous during his first season in New England. McCourty finished the regular season with 82 tackles and seven interceptions. The Patriots haven’t had this type of production from the cornerback position since Asante Samuel’s performance in 2006, when he intercepted 10 passes.
McCourty joins a high-profile group of finalists that includes, Sam Bradford, Ndamukong Suh, Joe Haden and Mike Williams.
At the end of the day look for Bradford, who came one game away from carrying the St. Louis Rams to the postseason, to claim the honors. The former Oklahoma Sooner passed for 3,512 yards; that’s more than what the 2008 rookie of the year, Matt Ryan, passed for during his campaign.
Still, McCourty’s success is highly noted. Out of the five finalists, McCourty and his Patriots are the lone team in the playoffs. It’s also even more impressive that McCourty has started every game for the No. 1 team in the NFL.
As a whole, the Patriots have hit on nearly every player in the 2010 draft class. Head Coach Bill Belichick has gotten more than he could have imagined from both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, who both could have been named a finalist and there wouldn’t have been any questions asked. Throw in former Florida Gators Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham along with punter Zoltan Mesko and you have one complete draft class — something the Patriots have lacked for a couple of seasons.
Look for McCourty and Co. to keep up their strong play in the postseason. Although it’s unlikely for McCourty to win this award, he’s looking for something a little bit bigger in February.