Could Darqueze Dennard become the next Vikings slot corner?

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Darqueze Dennard
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) Darqueze Dennard /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Darqueze Dennard /

Dennard’s NFL career so far

Darqueze Dennard came into the NFL with a big reputation after being selected with the 24th overall pick by the Bengals in the 2014 draft.

He was used sparingly by the franchise during his rookie campaign, playing just six percent of the team’s defensive snaps on his way to 17 combined tackles in 14 games.

Dennard’s progress was derailed by injury in 2015, leaving the talented cornerback appearing in just 10 contests. He recovered well enough to feature more prominently during the following season, starting three of 15 games to attain 47 combined tackles and one pass deflection.

He enjoyed a breakout year in 2017. Dennard was finally given the platform to showcase his talents and he rewarded the Bengals with 85 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, six pass deflections, and a touchdown.

The former Michigan State standout started nine games in 2018 thanks to some problems staying healthy. Dennard did manage to achieve 68 tackles, two forced fumbles, and six pass deflections in a frustrating season from the player’s point of view.

Injury, once again, played a prominent role in Dennard’s 2019 campaign. The cornerback performed well in the nine games he participated in and it ended with him having 37 tackles and five pass deflections.

If Dennard can rid himself of his injury problems, then there is plenty to like about his chances of a bounce-back year.