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Scouting Report
Dennard could be the first cornerback drafted, and his time of 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine might have locked the Michigan State product into the top 15 picks on draft day. If so, he'd be the first Spartan to be selected in the first round since wide receiver Charles Rogers in 2003. Dennard entered the combine with teams concerned about his speed, and though he emerged still slower than other top-of-the-draft corners such as Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, he showed he's fast enough to keep pace with NFL receivers. His main distinction is that he's viewed as the most physical of the 2014 cornerback class. He furthered his case as an overall athlete at his pro day with an 11-foot, 2-inch broad jump, which would have tied him for an overall best at the combine. A unanimous first-team All-American as a senior, Dennard became the first Michigan State player to win the Jim Thorpe Award as this nation's top defensive back. As a junior, he was named first-team All-Big Ten and ended the season with seven passes defended and three interceptions. Two of those came in the Outback Bowl against Georgia, a precursor to a big senior season. In addition to the national honors, he was again named first-team All-Big Ten as a senior, intercepting four passes and defending 10 while forcing two fumbles and finishing fifth on a stellar defense in tackles (62). Known as "No-Fly Zone," Dennard could be the highest defensive back selected out of Michigan State since Herb Adderley was taken at No. 12 in 1961. No matter where he goes, he'll have a family member to help him through the pre-draft buzz. Cousin Alfonzo Dennard is a cornerback for the New England Patriots.