BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has widely been regarded as one of the very best cornerbacks in football this season. Now, he has validation.

Gilmore was given First Team All-Pro honors on Friday for his work on the field in the 2018 season. It’s the first All-Pro honor of his seven-year career.

The 28-year-old Gilmore set a career high with 20 passes defensed this season, in addition to picking off two passes, recording one sack, forcing two fumbles and recovering one fumble.

Gilmore was the highest graded cornerback by Pro Football Focus this season, as well.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes earned the spot as the First Team All-Pro quarterback, while Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller occupied the other cornerback spot. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the lone unanimous selection.

No other Patriots earned First Team All-Pro honors, though Cordarrelle Patterson earned Second Team honors as a kick returner.

“He’s had a great year and he’s been just so solid,” Tom Brady said of Gilmore on Thursday. “It’s tough to complete the ball on him. We feel that way in practice. I’ve played with a lot of good corners and he’s right up there with the best of them. He knocks the ball away, intercepts the ball, makes the quarterback pay. He’s physical, good in the run game, good in zone, good in short, intermediate, deep. I mean, he’s all-around just been a great player for us.”

Gilmore joins Darrelle Revis (2014), Asante Samuel (2007) and Ty Law (1998, 2003) as the only Patriot cornerbacks in franchise history to earn First Team All-Pro honors.

“It’s a lot of hard work with my teammates and coaches pushing me,” Gilmore said Sunday, at the conclusion of the regular season. “Coaches put me in position to make plays and I got to keep it up.”

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