Alfonzo Dennard may not have been in the Vikings’ draft plans to begin with anyway, but now he certainly isn’t. And he’s probably not in the draft plans of most other teams anymore either after getting arrested for assaulting a police officer in Lincoln, Nebraska just days before the opening of the draft.
The official account of the altercation looks somewhat bad for Dennard. According to the police report, Dennard was fighting with another man outside a bar when authorities arrived. The cops tried breaking up the fight and that’s when Dennard pushed and punched one officer. It took four officers to subdue Dennard and take him into custody. No word on whether he was tasered but, the cops being what they are in this country, I’d say chances are good he was.
Of course it’s not fair to simply read the police report and pass judgment on Dennard. Stuff may have happened that’s not in the report. But, it’s pretty obvious he put himself in a perilous situation regardless. If he does that his sophomore year of college you probably chalk it up to youthful stupidity and let it slide. But less than a week before the draft? That’s a level of stupidity that is going to scare away many teams.
Again, on the scale of transgressions against society, getting a little drunk and stupid and punching a cop is probably not all that severe. But it’s the timing. Dennard knows he’s projected to go in the second or third round, and his job now is to protect that draft stock at all costs. After he gets drafted and paid he can act like an idiot. A guy who can’t keep it together long enough to even earn his first paycheck? He’s probably not a guy I want to take a chance on. Maybe if he had Morris Claiborne talent I would still consider it. But Alfonzo Dennard is no Morris Claiborne.
So, if I’m the Vikings, I take Dennard off my board entirely. Maybe I bring him in as an undrafted free agent, take a chance on a young man looking to turn his life around, all that jazz. But as for using a precious draft pick on him? No way. He’s not good enough to warrant taking the risk.
Someone should’ve explained to Dennard that this time of year, teams aren’t just looking for good reasons TO draft you, they’re looking for good reasons NOT to draft you. There’s a “con” column right next to the “pro” column, and the more you can add to each, the easier it is to make your evaluation. Dennard, I’m sad to say, just handed all 32 teams something new and juicy to put in his “con” line. Really, really not smart.