2014 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions Draft Prospects Top 5 Cornerbacks (Video)

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Dec 7, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Darqueze Dennard (31) reacts after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Big 10 Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Michigan State defeats Ohio State 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Darqueze Dennard – Michigan State

If Max Bullough was the heart of the 2013 Michigan State Spartans defense Darqueze Dennard was the soul.  Dennard may not have had the best performance at the combine but his intangibles and instincts allow his to play much bigger than his 5′ 11″ frame.  While his toughness can’t be questioned, his durability certainly can be.  Dennard missed portions of two seasons (2011 and 2012) for an injured shoulder then a sport hernia.

If the Lions want Dennard they will have to grab him at #10. He won’t fall much further than that.

Combine Results – 5.9

40 Yard Dash – 4.51 seconds

Vertical Jump- No result

Broad Jump – No result

Scouting Reports

ESPN Insider –

"Above average discipline and route recognition. Reads quarterback and receiver. Rarely out of position Only time got into trouble is when had back turned to receiver and committed to streak on a deep hitch. Late recognizing run on occasion."

NFL.com – Position Rank #2

"Polished technician adept at smothering receivers in press coverage. Questions about his speed and athleticism will impact his final grade, but coaches who covet fundamentally sound players will favor Dennard over others on this list."

Mock Draft

Todd McShay: #22 Philadelphia Eagles

"Defense should be the Eagles’ priority if the right player is available, in particular looking for an edge rusher and improving the athleticism and depth in the secondary. Dennard is a proven commodity with adequate size, good top-end speed and very good instincts and fluidity in coverage, and he was a legit shutdown corner against several opponents’ top targets this season. Louisville’s Pryor could also be worth a look here, and other cornerback options include Florida’s Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson, Florida State’s Lamarcus Joyner, Ohio State’s Bradley Roby and TCU’s Jason Verrett."

Mel Kiper: #24 Cincinatti Bengals

"This is a pick I’m staying with, as I like both the fit and the fact that the Bengals have few major needs, but corner is certainly one. To quote the previous mock, “there are some concerns going forward at a couple of spots, with both age (Adam Jones and Terence Newman are north of 30) and health (Leon Hall ended the season on injured reserve), so the Bengals don’t just need depth, they could use a player capable of starting.” Dennard can start, and he brings a physical style and an ability to press combined with great awareness and the ability to defend like he’s in your jersey without simply grabbing."

Fansided: #10 Detroit Lions

"The Detroit Lions select Darqueze Dennard with the 10th pick in the 2014 draft.  Darqueze Dennard, the 2013 Jim Thorpe award winner, possesses the blend of intangibles and physical ability that will anchor the Lions at corner for years to come. Dennard has an excellent opportunity to start next season given the inconsistent play and injury history of veteran corner Chris Houston. The Lions also have a need at wide receiver, but the team has been searching for a shut-down corner since passing on Quinton Jammer in 2002.  Dennard is presents the opportunity to finally get a game changer at the corner back position."