Nov 2, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Darqueze Dennard (31) raises his had before a play during the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Spartan Stadium. Spartans beat the Wolverines 29-6. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Draft Grade: Cincinnati Bengals Select Darqueze Dennard

The Cincinnati Bengals selected cornerback Darqueze Dennard with the 24th in the 2014 NFL draft.

Scheme Fit

The secondary of the Cincinnati Bengals hasn’t been terrible the past few years but they are clearly getting older and in need of some young blood.  Darqueze Dennard earned the nickname the “No Fly Zone” for a reason.  He’s very good in press coverage and was a key cog in the Michigan State run to the Rose Bowl.  Toughness and tackling are two factors that constantly get overlooked in his game.  Leadership in the locker room is also a bonus as is a relentless work ethic.

My Reaction

I wasn’t the least bit surprised by this pick.  I really thought Dennard was going earlier but I knew if he fell to the Bengals at #24 he wasn’t going any further.  Marvin Lewis loves physical defensive backs who are disciplined in their approach.  Dennard with bring more toughness to an already good defense and provided the Bengals don’t put him in bad positions he’ll do everything asked of him.

Grade:  B+

Tags: Cincinnati Bengals Darqueze Dennard

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