Biography: Three-year starter awarded all-conference honors the past two years and named to several All-American teams as a senior. Named Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year in 2011 after totaling 31 tackles and breaking up six passes. Junior totals included 30/4/7.
Positives: Feisty cornerback who's displayed great ability to defend deep passes. Quick flipping his hips off the line, runs downfield with receivers and consistently gets his head back around to locate the pass in the air. Physical and battles opponents throughout the route. Displays terrific reaction and timing when the pass in the air. Shows a burst to the action out of his plant and solid ball skills. Also effective facing the action in zone coverage.
Negatives: Lacks top deep speed. Struggled in the Senior Bowl, displaying a lot of stiffness in his game. Does not possess the body type for a traditional cornerback in the NFL.
Analysis: Denard was a solid shutdown corner at Nebraska and a defender quarterbacks purposely stayed away from. He possesses solid skills yet his poor showing at the Senior Bowl will inevitably drop him down draft boards. He may get looks at the safety position if he does not quickly produce at cornerback in camp this summer.
Randy Litzinger/Icon SMI
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