Darqueze Dennard visits Bengals for 2 days; Why Bengals may pass on him

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Dennard is regarded as one of the draft's top CB prospects, so the Bengals would love to get him at pick no. 24, right?

The Bengals have carefully studied this year's crop of cornerbacks they could select in the NFL Draft. Already they've hosted Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller and TCU's Jason Verrett.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Michigan state's Darqueze Dennard made his way up to Cincinnati for an extended stay:

Indeed the question is will Dennard even last long enough in the first round for the Bengals to select him? Frankly, some think he shouldn't even go that high, according to Eric Galko of the Bleacher Report:

"Another reason for his potential dip in draft stock is his over-aggressiveness with his hands down the field, which will likely result in more pass interference calls than it did in college, Galko writes. "As a cornerback without great length, Dennard relies on subtle hand contact to stay tight to his receiver, and that reliance could make teams worry that it won’t work against NFL receivers."

If you watch Dennard play, you'll see a very physical corner who frequently comes close to committing pass inference on the receiver he's covering. In college - particularly the Big 10 - that's accepted more.

That's not the case in today's pass-happy NFL though, as the rules have been altered to strongly favor receivers and keep DBs off them in coverage.

Another reasons why Dennard may fall on draft day are his 30 1/4 inch arms, one of the lowest of any CB in this class. That gives him less room for error as press/man coverage, especially in the NFL against more physical and/or athletic WRs.

There's concern with Dennard that his style of play won't translate into the NFL and he'll be flagged too frequently to be an effective corner.

On the other hand ESPN analyst and former NFL DB Herm Edwards believes Dennard is the draft's best CB prospect:

"Dennard lacks the elite speed of some other cornerbacks, but he is the most complete guy at the position in terms of his skill set," Edwards writes. "I love his physicality and experience (three-year starter at MSU), and he got his hands on 20 passes, including 10 interceptions, in his career. Most importantly, he played against big-time competition in the Big Ten."

Dennard has quietly become one of the draft's more intriguing prospects. Do the Bengals roll the dice on him if he's on the board is the question.

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