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 NFL Draft Profile: Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard is arguably the top cornerback prospect in this year’s draft.   He obviously has the talent to succeed at the NFL level, but how high he can soar has been questioned by a lot of experts.  Whether it is his effort, level of competition, or poor tackling angles, he could be seen as a project.  Other teams may see him as an instinctual player who can be plugged into a system right away and be an impact player.

He could succeed in an aggressive defense that wants to utilize his ability to play one-on-one.  However, he could be seen as a liability in run support unless he can get to a team with a coach that can help him develop those skills.

Here are his statistics over 4 years at Michigan State:

  • Sep 7, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Darqueze Dennard (31) points to South Florida Bulls offense during the 2nd half at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 21-6. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

    33 games played

  • 105 solo tackles
  • 167 total tackles
  • 10 tackles for a loss
  • 1 sack
  • 10 interceptions
  • 1 defensive touchdown
  • 26 passes defended
  • 3 forced fumbles


  • Plays bigger than he actually is
  • Great instincts
  • Excellent at locating the ball in the air
  • Good man-on-man coverage skills
  • Endurance


  • Seems to get a lot of penalties
  • Faced few great receivers in conference
  • Needs to work on wrapping up when tackling
  • Effort has been questioned

Fit For The Vikings

The Vikings have a huge need to fill at cornerback.  Right now, they have only Xavier Rhodes, Josh Robinson, Shaun Prater, Robert Steeples and Kip Edwards under contract.  So there is a need for a new starter and some depth at the position.

My Take

Minnesota could choose to take a cornerback with their first round draft pick, but if they do, I assume it will be after trading down.  There are several quality cornerbacks in this year’s draft and that could have Dennard sliding.  While the Vikings will add several players at this position, I don’t think they will choose a cornerback at #8 overall.

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  • Kevin

    Adam Carlson – You need to do some research. Dennard is not a liability in the run game nor does he have a Questionable work ethic. He was a 2* that turned into a Jim Thorpe winner that does not happen without ENDLESS preperation.

  • Kevin

    I am very sick of sports writers who think they know everything about a player after watching 10 seconds of game film. Do you know you are the only person who has evaluated Dennard as below average in run support? This is the 1st article I have ever read of yours and it will be the last your ability to assess Dennard shows your lack of knowledge and understanding of the game.

    • Adam B. Carlson

      I’m sorry that you’ll stop reading my articles because you disagree with one of my assessments. However, I am not going to change how I feel about a player because of a negative comment on one of my articles. Many different people can view something and see it many different ways and you are entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine.
      But thank you for taking the time to read my article and I hope you’ll change your mind about not returning to read my work.