Alfonzo Dennard Could Be Seventh-Round Steal for Patriots if Attitude Issues Subside

FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots bought low on the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, selecting Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard with the 224th pick in the seventh round. Dennard had upper-round value, but his stock plummeted after he got into trouble in the pre-draft process.

Key Stats

The 5-foot-10, 204-pounder had four tackles, six pass breakups and 31 tackles in 2011.

Scouting Report

Dennard is a physical cornerback who can play strong at the line and jam up receivers, although his aggressiveness can get him in trouble, too. He's got good closing speed and instincts, which could help him transition into a zone scheme in New England. Dennard is also a vicious hitter who likes to go for the loud play.

Roster Impact

If Dennard subscribes to the program, he should be a really solid asset, particularly for the seventh-round value. Dennard should be considered a good backup who can grow into a starter down the line.

Key Storyline

Dennard was ejected from the Capital One Bowl for getting into a fight with South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Then, last week, Dennard was arrested for allegedly punching a police officer, which really destroyed his stock. Dennard's skills alone should have pushed him into the second round, but the attitude is the question.

Photo via Twitter/Alfonzo Dennard

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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