Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 11/5/14
For someone who was a pre-season All American in 2011, a physical cornerback at Nebraska and later projected to be a New England Patriots in some mock drafts, Alfonzo Dennard had to be excited about the NFL Draft in 2012 and his future in the NFL.  Some draft experts had him going with the second of the Patriots’ first two picks in the first round, but something bad happened the week leading up to the draft and he didn’t go quite where he was projected.

What was not expected was he didn’t go in the second round either,  as his stock fell all the way to the seventh round at pick 224.  The fall was based on an incident where Dennard allegedly punched a police officer outside of a bar in Lincoln, NE bar. This sent flags up everywhere across the NFL; teams didn’t want to take a chance on another character issue, especially with the NFL rules on off the field conduct. 

Well the Patriots did decide to select him after they did their due diligence about the issue to go along with seeing his potential and low risk at that point in the draft.  There feeling was supported by former Cornhusker teammate and current New York Giant cornerback Prince Amukamara.

Prince admired Dennard’s character and said of him:

"Alfonzo is a very cheerful guy, and he likes to make the best out of situations. He has the hungry mentality that he's going to go in and work hard and just put everything in the Patriots' hands."

Prince also said that he sent a text message to Dennard and told him not to worry about anything.

"I just told him I know this isn't where you want to get picked, but you know what you can do and we know what you can do, so just prove (doubters) wrong.”

Most in his place could have spoken out or displayed a negative attitude about slipping that far, but Dennard has acted professionally, worked hard to learn the system and show he just wants a chance. 

Now, after sitting out the first four games with a hamstring concern (which has not limited him in practice), I feel he should get his chance, mainly due to the lack of performance from second year CB Ras I-Dowling. 

Dowling had a good game with four tackles (3 solo, 1 assisted) in the season opener against the Titans, but since has registered only 1 tackle on a total of nine snaps in weeks two though four.   The Patriots used (not saying wasted yet, as there is hope) the first pick on the second round, #33 overall on Dowling, hoping he could be the cornerback they saw play strong at Virginia and the past two pre-seasons opposite Devin McCourty on the outside, but he was playing more nickel in the opener, he is watching ever since.

Dennard could come in and bring his physical style to the outside and jam receivers on the line, providing some diversity that Dowling can’t do. 

Why not see what he can do and give him a shot?  I think he’ll surprise some people if given the opportunity.
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