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Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State



The NFL has become a league built on throwing the ball and stopping people from throwing the ball. Dennard has proven himself to be one of the top cornerbacks in college football, but where does he deserve to go in the Draft?

Picture Credit: detroit.cbslocal.com
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 197
40 Time: 4.50
Class: Senior

Strengths:
  • Quick, fluid hips.
  • Shows ability to turn and run with speedy receivers.
  • Makes strong cuts, giving him the ability to mirror receivers.
  • Locates and tracks ball well in the air.
  • Times his jumps well.
  • Has good body control.
  • Has the ability to be a real lockdown corner in the NFL.
  • Tackles extremely well.
  • Extremely smart player.
Weaknesses:
  • Plays off a little lax at times.
  • Doesn’t have elite size.
Injury History:
  • Missed 2 games in his sophomore season.
Notes:
  • Won the Jim Thorpe award in 2013.
  • As a senior allowed only 3 completions in 31 attempts in passes over 15 yards.
  • 2013 Walter Camp First Team All-American
Summary:
Dennard has flown up draft boards this season, now being considered by many to be the top cornerback in the draft. Dennard doesn’t have many flaws in his game. He has good size, though not elite. Dennard has completely locked down one side of the field for the Spartans defense. Dennard shows the ability to turn his hips and run with speedy receivers down the field as well as be physical with bigger, stronger receivers. He can cover any type of receiver and has the ball skills to make quarterbacks pay if they misthrow any ball.

NFL Comparison: Darrelle Revis
The two of them are very similar in size and ability on the field. Dennard has completely shut down one side of the field for the Spartans, just as Revis did for the Jets. Mike Bloomgren, the assistant coach for Stanford, who also was an assistant coach for the Jets from 2007-2010, is also reminded of Revis. Revis may have more pure straight line speed, but on the field Dennard kept up with every receiver he covered. Dennard has a chance to come in and play right away and in a couple years be a true shut down cornerback.




2 Comments

Photo
Josh Gleason
Jan 02 2014 12:38 AM

I have loved Dennard since early in his career and thought it was crazy he was not a consensus 1st rounder before the year. He has played all over the place in a variety of roles for the Spartans defense early in his career and excelled all over the place. At corner, he simply locks his man down. Physical and smooth are a dangerous combination.

 

It will be interesting to see how he tests because that is always big for the cornerback position in terms of where exactly he gets drafted. He would have to bomb not to receive a top ten grade from me though.

He had a great combine for himself, but I don't believe he will be the first corner taken. Someone will fall in love with Gilberts blend of size and speed.

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