Darqueze Dennard – CB
Here’s a rarity. I am going to break kayfabe for a moment.
Although infrequently in the business of “calls,” I am calling this free-agent signing. The Vikings will sign Darqueze Dennard.
Dennard is a 28-year-old cornerback selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played all six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has ties to Cincinnati vis-à-vis six seasons running the team’s defense. Also, Dennard is a first-round talent. He was taken in the 24th spot of the draft seven years ago–two picks after Johnny Manziel.
Dennard ran a 40-yard dash of 4.50 as a younger man; he has the speed. His 2019 passer-rating-against was 74.5, about 50 points lower than departed cornerback Xavier Rhodes. And, Pro Football Focus assigned him a grade of 72.2 last season, which is decent.
There’s more: Darqueze Dennard was a teammate of Kirk Cousins at Michigan State University.
Connections aside, Dennard would immediately bring a veteran presence to the Vikings cornerback squad. Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, Jeff Gladney, Cameron Dantzler, Harrison Hand, and Kris Boyd will all compete for playing time.
I think this signing will happen.