Justin Bethel

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Justin Bethel
refer to caption
Bethel with the Cardinals in 2013
No. 28 – Baltimore Ravens
Position:Cornerback
Special teamer
Personal information
Born: (1990-06-17) June 17, 1990 (age 29)
Sumter, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Blythewood
(Blythewood, South Carolina)
College:Presbyterian
NFL Draft:2012 / Round: 6 / Pick: 177
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:199
Forced fumbles:8
Fumble recoveries:4
Pass deflections:19
Interceptions:4
Defensive touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Justin Andrew Bethel[1] (born June 17, 1990) is an American football cornerback and special teamer for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, he played college football at Presbyterian College.

Early life[edit]

Bethel was born in Sumter, South Carolina and at age 6 he moved with his family to Columbia,[2] he started playing football at age 11 when he was in sixth grade. He attended Blythewood High School[2] where in 2007 he was named Blythewood's Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Defensive Player, he helped the team win the State Championship in 2006.[3]

College career[edit]

Bethel did not receive much interest from college football programs, and he planned to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University, until his high school coach, Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott, was hired to be a coach for the Presbyterian College Blue Hose.[4] Bethel decided to attend Presbyterian, and majored in Business Administration.

Bethel played in 12 games during his freshman season in 2008, amassing 54 tackles and 37 solo tackles, he had 2 interceptions and two blocked kicks.

2009 was a breakout season for Bethel. He had a team-best 79 tackles during 11 games, 55 of which were solo, he blocked 3 kicks, two in a game against Gardner–Webb University. He also forced one fumble and had 4.5 tackles for a loss. For his efforts, he was named to the Big South Conference All-Conference Second-Team Defensive squad.

Professional career[edit]

Bethel caught the attention of pro scouts with a strong performance in the East-West Shrine Game,[4] he had a YouTube video showing him making a vertical leap onto boxes five feet high. Coming out of Presbyterian, he was projected to be a fifth or sixth round pick, he received an invitation to the NFL Combine and completed all of the required combine drills. His vertical leap of 39½ inches was the highest of any defensive player who attended the combine.[5] On March 9, 2012, Bethel participated at Presbyterians' pro day and opted to run the 40, 20, and 10-yard dash while also performing positional drills, he was ranked as the seventh best free safety prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
200 lb
(91 kg)
32 38 in
(0.82 m)
9 34 in
(0.25 m)
4.58 s 1.60 s 2.68 s 4.30 s 6.79 s 39 12 in
(1.00 m)
10 ft 11 in
(3.33 m)
19 reps
All values from NFL Combine[6]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

The Arizona Cardinals selected Bethel in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2012 NFL draft, he was the first Presbyterian player selected in the NFL Draft since 1969.[7]

2012[edit]

On May 15, 2012, the Arizona Cardinals signed Bethel to a four-year rookie contract.[8]

Bethel entered his first training camp with the Cardinals as a free safety, but was moved to cornerback by defensive coordinator Ray Horton a few weeks into camp, he competed with Greg Toler, Michael Adams, Crezdon Butler, A. J. Jefferson, and Jamell Fleming for a backup cornerback position. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt named him the sixth cornerback on the Arizona Cardinals' depth chart to begin his rookie season, behind Patrick Peterson, William Gay, Greg Toler, Jamell Fleming, and Michael Adams.[9]

Bethel made his professional regular season debut in the Arizona Cardinals' season-opening 20-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks. On December 23, 2012, Bethel recovered Olindo Mare's blocked field goal and returned it 82-yards for a touchdown in a 28-13 loss to the Chicago Bears;[10] the Cardinals finished with a 5-11 record and did not qualify for the playoffs. He finished his rookie season with 13 tackles.[11]

2013[edit]

Bethel entered Arizona Cardinals' training camp in 2013 competing with Antoine Cason, Jerraud Powers, Jamell Fleming, Javier Arenas, and Bryan McCann for the vacant starting cornerback position left by the departure of William Gay. New Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians named him the sixth cornerback on the depth chart to begin the season, behind Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason, Javier Arenas, and Jamell Fleming.[12]

On September 15, 2013, Bethel blocked a field goal for the first time in his career against the Detroit Lions.[13] On November 10, he blocked another field goal, this time against the Houston Texans.[14] Bethel was selected to be in the 2014 Pro Bowl as a special teams player, joining teammates Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, and Calais Campbell, he became the first player from Presbyterian to become a Pro bowler.[15] The Cardinals finished with a 10-6 record and did not qualify for the playoffs,[16] he finished his second season with 21 tackles and two field goal blocks.[11]

2014[edit]

Bethel gave up his number #31 to Antonio Cromartie and switched to #28, which belonged to Rashard Mendenhall the season prior before he retired,[17] he competed for the starting cornerback job in training camp, going up against Antonio Cromartie, Jerraud Powers, and Brandon Sermons. Head coach Bruce Arians named Bethel the fourth cornerback on the depth chart to begin 2014, behind Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, and Jerraud Powers.[18]

On November 2, 2014, Bethel recorded his third career blocked field goal against the Dallas Cowboys,[19] he was named the NFC special teams Player of the Week three days later.[20] On December 7, Bethel grabbed a game-saving fumble recovery in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs, his first recovery of his career on defense,[21] he was also named NFC special teams Player of the Month for December. The last time a Cardinal won this award was Patrick Peterson in November 2011,[22] he finished his third season with 25 tackles.

Bethel was voted to the 2015 Pro Bowl as a special teams player, becoming the second player in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl multiple times as a special teamer (with Ron Wolfley);[23] the Arizona Cardinals finished second in the NFC West with an 11-5 record and received a playoff berth.[24] On January 3, 2015, Bethel appeared in his first career postseason game and tackled Carolina Panthers' punter Brad Nortman in the end zone for a safety during the fourth quarter of a 16-27 overtime loss to Carolina in the NFC Wildcard game.[25]

2015[edit]

Bethel entered training camp competing with Jerraud Powers for the vacant starting cornerback job left by the departure of Antonio Cromartie,[26] he started the regular season as the backup to Patrick Peterson and Jerraud Powers.[27]

On September 27, 2015, Bethel recorded his first-career interception and returned it for a 21-yard touchdown during a 47-7 victory over the San Francisco 49ers,[28] he also knocked the ball from DeAndrew White, but it was recovered by a 49er. On October 26, he ripped the ball from Jeremy Ross and recovered the fumble in a 26-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens, his second forced fumble of the season, and third of his career.[29] On November 1, he earned his first career start and recorded four solo tackles and two pass deflections in a 34-20 victory against the Cleveland Browns.[30] On December 5, the Arizona Cardinals signed Bethel to a three-year, $15 million contract extension with $9 million guaranteed and a $3 million signing bonus,[31] he became the starting nickelback for the remainder of the season in Week 16 after safety Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL and was placed on injured reserve.[32][33] On December 27, Bethel recorded a career-high eight combined tackles and intercepted a pass attempt by Aaron Rodgers in a 38-8 win over the Green Bay Packers,[34] he finished the regular season with career highs in tackles (46), passes defended (9), and interceptions (2), as well as two forced fumbles and a touchdown.[11]

He received his third consecutive invitation to the 2016 Pro Bowl as a special teams player;[35] the Arizona Cardinals finished the 2015 season as NFC West champs after finishing 13-3.[36] On January 16, 2016, Bethel started in his first career postseason game and collected six solo tackles and defended a pass as the Cardinals defeated the Green Bay Packers 26-20 in overtime, winning the NFC divisional round.[37] On January 24, he started the NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers and made four combined tackles and a pass deflection during a 15-49 loss.[38]

In 2015, his high school alma mater, Blythewood High School, retired his jersey number 31.[39]

2016[edit]

On April 20, 2016, it was reported that Bethel had underwent surgery earlier in the week to repair slight fracture in his ankle that he had suffered on November 23, 2015, against the Cincinnati Bengals, he missed organized team activities and the first three weeks of training camp.[40] Bethel was expected to be the Arizona Cardinal's starting cornerback alongside Patrick Peterson after Jerraud Powers had departed through free agency.[41] Upon his arrival at training camp, he competed with Mike Jenkins, Asa Jackson, Tharold Simon, and Brandon Williams, he began the 2016 season as the backup to Patrick Peterson and Brandon Williams.[42]

On November 13, he earned his first start of the season and recorded four solo tackles and deflected a pass during a 23-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers On November 20, Bethel blocked a Kai Forbath extra point in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings, marking his fourth career blocked kick.[43] On January 1, 2017, Bethel returned an interception for a 66-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 44-6 victory over the Los Angeles Rams;[44] the Cardinals finished with a 7-8-1 record and did not qualify for the playoffs.[45] He finished the 2016 season with 39 tackles, six pass deflections, an interception, and a touchdown.[11]

2017[edit]

Bethel entered training camp in 2017 competing against Brandon Williams, Tramon Williams, and Harlan Miller for the vacant starting cornerback position after Marcus Cooper departed for the Chicago Bears during free agency.[46] Head coach Bruce Arians named Bethel the starting cornerback, along with Patrick Peterson, to begin the regular season,[47] it marked the first time he had been named the starting cornerback to begin the regular season in Bethel's career.

He started in the Cardinals' season opening 35–23 loss to the Detroit Lions and returned an interception off Matthew Stafford for an 82-yard touchdown in the first quarter,[48] he lost the starting job and was demoted to the team's No. 3 cornerback in Week 7 due to the emergence of the veteran Tramon Williams.[49] The Cardinals finished with an 8-8 record and did not qualify for the playoffs,[50] he finished the 2017 season with 41 tackles, four pass deflections, an interception, and a touchdown.[11]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On March 24, 2018, Bethel signed with the Atlanta Falcons,[51] he played in 14 games primarily on special teams, recording 14 tackles.

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

On March 15, 2019, Bethel signed a two-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens.[52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pro Football Reference Profile". pro-football-reference.com.
  2. ^ a b Gaiter, Joe (May 3, 2012). "Justin Bethel's Road to the NFL". Expanded Sports. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  3. ^ "Justin Bethel, Presbyterian, NFL Draft". CBSSports.com. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Josh Kendall, "Bethel ready to cook in new career: A baker by trade, former PC star could have NFL future", The State, February 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Darren Rovell, "Draft Sleeper Justin Bethel Turns Heads By Jumping Five Feet In The Air, CNBC.com, April 23, 2012.
  6. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Justin Bethel". NFL.com. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "Bethel Drafted by NFL in Sixth Round". GoBlueHose.com. April 28, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Urban, Darren (May 15, 2012). "Four Draft Picks Agree To Deals". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  9. ^ "Ourlads.com: Arizona Cardinals depth chart: 10/01/2012". ourlads.com. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  10. ^ McManaman, Bob (December 23, 2012). "Bears 28, Cardinals 13". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Justin Bethel: Career Stats". NFL.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  12. ^ "Ourlads.com: Arizona Cardinals' depth chart: 09/05/2013". ourlads.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Urban, Darren (September 15, 2013). "Cardinals Lock Down Lions". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Odegard, Kyle (November 10, 2013). "A Touchdown For Rob Housler". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  15. ^ Urban, Darren (December 27, 2013). "Peterson, Abraham, Bethel Pro Bowl Trio". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Urban, Darren (December 29, 2013). "Tough Finish For Cardinals, But Hope". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  17. ^ Root, Jess (April 25, 2014). "Cromartie gets No. 31 from Bethel". Revenge of the Birds. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  18. ^ "Ourlads.com: Arizona Cardinals' depth chart: 10/01/2014". ourlads.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  19. ^ Urban, Darren (November 2, 2014). "Confident Cardinals Batter Cowboys". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  20. ^ Urban, Darren (November 5, 2014). "Block Earns Justin Bethel NFC Award". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  21. ^ Odegard, Kyle (December 8, 2014). "Cardinals Film Room: Finding The Fumble". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  22. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (December 31, 2014). "Justin Bethel named NFC special teams player of the month". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  23. ^ Root, Jess (December 23, 2014). "AZ Cardinals Pro Bowl facts". Revenge of the Birds. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  24. ^ "Arizona Cardinals clinch first postseason berth since 2009". NFL.com. December 14, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  25. ^ Odegard, Kyle (January 3, 2015). "Special Teams Struggles in Carolina". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  26. ^ Root, Jess (March 26, 2015). "BA, Bowles talk Bethel, Powers for CB competition". Revenge of the Birds. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  27. ^ "Ourlads.com: Arizona Cardinals depth chart: 10/01/2015". ourlads.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  28. ^ Urban, Darren (September 27, 2015). "Picking A Cardinals' Thrashing Of 49ers". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  29. ^ Odegard, Kyle (October 26, 2015). "Special Teams Has Big Moments Monday Night". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  30. ^ Grialou, Craig (October 29, 2015). "Cardinals CB Bethel 'looking forward' to start at Cleveland". Arizona Sports. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  31. ^ Sessler, Marc (December 5, 2015). "Cardinals, Bethel agree to three-year, $15M extension". NFL.com. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  32. ^ Weinfuss, Josh (January 11, 2016). "Cardinals CB Justin Bethel getting used to being picked on". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  33. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (December 21, 2015). "Tyrann Mathieu will miss the season with a torn ACL". NFL.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  34. ^ Urban, Darren (December 27, 2015). "Cardinals Sack Packers, Clinch Bye". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  35. ^ Urban, Darren (December 22, 2015). "Seven Cardinals Picked For Pro Bowl". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  36. ^ Urban, Darren (December 20, 2015). "Cardinals Batter Eagles, Win NFC West". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  37. ^ Urban, Darren (January 16, 2016). "Crazy Win Puts Cardinals In NFC Championship". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  38. ^ Urban, Darren (January 24, 2016). "Cardinals' Season Ends Without A Ring". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  39. ^ Bezjak, Lou (October 28, 2015). "Blythewood to retire Bethel's jersey". The State. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  40. ^ Somers, Kent (April 20, 2016). "Cardinals' Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel undergo surgeries". AZCentral. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  41. ^ "Arizona Cardinal's Depth Chart". Ourlads.com. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  42. ^ Alex Mann (September 5, 2016). "Arizona Cardinals release first Depth Chart of 2016". revengeofthebirds.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  43. ^ Sansevere, Bob (November 21, 2016). "Q&A with new Vikings kicker Kai Forbath". Twin Cities. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  44. ^ Kalbrosky, Bryan (January 1, 2017). "Rams finish season 1-6 at home after getting destroyed by Cardinals". Rams Wire. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  45. ^ Cox, Seth (December 19, 2016). "Arizona Cardinals Officially Eliminated from NFL Playoffs for 2016". Revenge of the Birds. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  46. ^ Odegard, Kyle (July 19, 2017). "Position Battles To Watch At Training Camp". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  47. ^ Grialou, Craig (August 24, 2017). "Arians names Justin Bethel the Cardinals' No. 2 cornerback". Arizona Sports. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  48. ^ Urban, Darren (September 10, 2017). "Rough Day For Cardinals In Detroit". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  49. ^ Urban, Darren (October 22, 2017). "London Falling: Cardinals Lose Carson Palmer". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  50. ^ Cox, Seth (December 18, 2017). "Arizona Cardinals officially eliminated from playoff contention". Revenge of the Birds. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  51. ^ McFadden, Will (March 24, 2018). "Falcons agree to terms with former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel". AtlantaFalcons.com.
  52. ^ Brown, Clifton (March 15, 2019). "Ravens Agree to Terms With Special Teams Standout Justin Bethel". BaltimoreRavens.com.

External links[edit]