The Bengals have been happy thus far with the performance of first-round pick Darqueze Dennard. Though it's only the second week of training camp and the first preseason game is coming up, Dennard has impressed the coaches with how well he's transitioning to the NFL.
Dennard was considered one of the top cornerbacks in this year's draft, and his addition addressed a major need in the secondary. Leon Hall has now injured both Achilles tendons, two years apart. Adam Jones has been very solid, but may be used more on the return unit this year.
Terence Newman is aging, and Dre Kirkpatrick has battled injuries that have prevented his NFL career from kicking off. All of this has led to Dennard getting a lot of reps with the first-team defense in OTAs and training camp.
Marvin Lewis made a bold statement this morning in an interview with Dan Hoard about Dennard.
@bearcatmark1 No, won't start right off the bat. But will see plenty of action in nickel and dime packages— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) August 7, 2014
The Bengals have made it evident they're expecting big things from Dennard as a rookie. While he may not start initially, it's looking like a safe bet that he starts a number of games in the second-half of the season.