NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard
|04.02.12 at 8:27 am ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Weight: 205 pounds
Achievements: All-Big Ten first team (2011), Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year (2011), Sporting News Preseason second-team All-America (2011), ESPN All-Big 12 first team (2010), Coaches and AP All-Big 12 second team (2010)
What he brings: Dennard shows great quickness and agility, which allows him to close in on passes and excel in all types of coverage. He is very aggressive, but sometimes that is to a fault, as he has a history of jumping on play fakes and therefore falls behind in his coverage. He displays strong physicality in his coverage and knows how to make a play on the ball without drawing a pass interference call. He obviously lacks height and only had four interceptions in his collegiate career. He sometimes gambles a bit on plays and has a strange backpedal, but overall he does a good job of staying with the receiver and recognizes routes well. Dennard has a bit of a temper that he needs to learn to channel in a more productive manner, as he was ejected from the Capital One Bowl for a fight with South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery.
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2
Notes: Dennard had 31 total tackles and broke up six passes in the 2011 season. He has 91 career tackles, four career interceptions and four career quarterback hurries. Dennard hurt his draft status a bit by his play in the Senior Bowl practice, when he struggled to turn and run to catch up with receivers. He pulled out of the Senior Bowl with a hip flexor injury, so it was unclear if his struggles were injury-related or an actual issue against more elite competition. Dennard does have a history of injuries, as he missed time with a shoulder injury in 2009, a concussion in 2010, and a pulled muscle in his right leg 2011.
Video: Here’s a package of highlights of Dennard.