— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) June 12, 2014
The Cincinnati Bengals have announced that Darqueze Dennard, the team’s first round, has signed his contract, which means the Bengals’ have signed all of their draft picks. Dennard, the 24th pick of the NFL Draft, will have an opportunity to lock down one of the starting corner spots in the Bengals’ defense opposite Leon Hall.
Not unlike his cousin, Alfonzo Dennard of the New England Patriots, Darqueze comes to Cincinnati as an extremely physical corner that does his best work near the line of scrimmage with safety help over the top. He can play the run extremely well, has developed into a leader and smart player under Mark Dantonio at Michigan State and brings a level of professionalism and intensity that is bred in East Lansing.
The concern with Dennard is that he has average hips, making it difficult for him to flip and react quickly, especially with players attacking him over the top, which is why he needs help over the top. The other issue is that Dennard needs to improve his ball skills and while he was a good corner for the Spartans, teams were not afraid to throw at him. Especially with what they hope is a healthy Leon Hall opposite him, he will have plenty of opportunities to punish opponents for throwing at his side. Dennard is in a great situation that could really allow him to succeed early and the Bengals really need him to help them out as injuries and age have hurt them at the corner spot and really took a toll last season. The Bengals have all of their draft picks signed with over a month to spare.