The New England Patriots have a daunting task ahead of them this offseason in attempting to replace long-time safety Devin McCourty. But, perhaps part of the puzzle for replacing the 13-year veteran is already on the roster.
On Monday afternoon, Patriots’ defensive back Jalen Mills took to Twitter to remind everyone he’s more than just a cornerback. In a series of tweets, Mills shared that he “really play(s) safety,” shortly following it up by calling himself a “hybrid” defensive back.
Y’all know I really play safety right?.— Jalen Mills (@greengoblin) March 13, 2023
Y’all know I’m really a hybrid right?.— Jalen Mills (@greengoblin) March 13, 2023
When Mills originally signed with New England back in 2020, he was viewed exactly as that hybrid defender. Coming off his final season in Philadelphia, Mills was used all over the field recording 329 snaps in the box, 182 in the slot, 227 out wide, and 236 at free safety.
However, with Stephon Gilmore sidelined due to injury and a contract dispute, New England opted to use Mills primarily as a boundary cornerback. In his two years now in Foxboro he has manned the outside on over 75 percent of his defensive snaps.
Outside of the 2020 campaign, Mills has rarely seen any action at safety throughout his career. But, he did play the position during his collegiate career at LSU. Mills is one of many versatile defensive backs in New England, which could make him a part of the plan in replacing Devin McCourty in the backend.