First round prospect Darqueze Dennard will taking a pre-draft visit with the Jets, along with at least two other teams. (NFL Network, April 9)
Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award (given to the best defensive back in college football) last season and is in the running with Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert as the the first corner back drafted next month. While both won’t likely be available to the Jets with the 18th pick, Dennard seems to be trailing Gilbert due to the
Sooner Cowboy’s athletic upside.
Recently, Dennard explained why he thinks he’s the best corner available to the Boston Herald.
“I think I’m the best cornerback in the class because of a lot of things really,” Dennard said. “I’m an overall better football player. I can tackle. I can play Cover-1, Cover-3, Cover-2, all types of coverages. I’m versatile. I can play inside. I can play outside. I can play safety. I’m smart. I think I’m an all-around great football player.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comFor those unfamiliar with Dennard’s game, he’s regarded as the most physical cornerback in this year’s draft class. The former Spartan would be a perfect fit for a Rex Ryan defense which loves using tight press coverage with their corners to disrupt an offense’s timing.
Dennard is this year’s most aggressive press cover cornerback, has fluidity in his movement, excellent body control and has good technique to position himself to neutralize receivers and contest passes. As Dennard points out, he is also considered one of the best tackling and run stopping cornerbacks the draft process has seen in recent years. If there’s any knocks on him, it might be that he’s only got average size and speed.
Should the Jets miss out on drafting a pass-catcher of their choice in the first round, they could do a lot worse than Darqueze Dennard.