Dennard, 28, is considered to be one of the most underrated additions to Atlanta’s roster by Falcons’ team reporter Will McFadden
- McFadden says Dennard’s presence helps three things:
- 1. It makes Atlanta’s cornerback group deeper.“The Falcons would have been in some trouble if a starting corner, particularly at the nickel corner spot, was lost for a significant part of the season. Now, there is a bit more of a cushion.”
2. Dennard adds more versatility to an already versatile defense.
“He can play both inside and outside in the secondary, and Atlanta needed another corner capable of playing in the slot as, prior to the move, Kendall Sheffield was the only player to have previously shown he could successfully play that spot on Sundays.”
3. He provides veteran leadership.
“Atlanta is already relying on Isaiah Oliver to ratchet his game up a notch and A.J. Terrell to acclimate to NFL speed on the fly, it shouldn’t have to worry about Dennard looking in over his head.”
Falcons Snag Dennard From Jacksonville
Way back in March, Dennard and the Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly agreed on a three-year, $13.5 million contract that would pay him $6 million guaranteed. He was expected to fill the outside corner spot left open by AJ Bouye.
Unfortunately for the Jags, the two parties couldn’t come to a contract agreement.
Dennard grew up 100 miles southeast of Atlanta in Dry Branch and was a high school standout at Twiggs County High. Now, his family and friends will be able to make it to games (well, once fans are allowed).
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A Quick Look at Dennard’s Resume
Dennard was drafted by Cincinnati in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.
The former first-rounder has started 24 games in his career, all of them with the Bengals. He has recorded 3 interceptions, 22 pass deflections, and 3 sacks over the course of his career. In a total of 77 games, Dennard has had 274 combine tackles.
Pro Football Focus gave Dennard a solid grade of 72.2 last year after playing in just 9 games and 5 starts where he totaled 37 tackles and five passes defended.
The Falcons added some much-needed cornerback secondary earlier this month by signing former Cincinnati Bengals corner Darqueze Dennard.
Dennard is well known for his quality coverage ability and speed—two important things that every NFL team looks for in a corner.
Dennard More Than Just Depth Addition
After winning over the coaches this offseason, it looks like Falcons first-round pick A.J. Terrell will start at the corner position. Dennard will have to compete with Oliver and Sheffield to climb up the depth chart.
However, it looks like it’s going well for him.
“He’s come in and he hasn’t missed an assignment at all; he is extremely smart,” Falcons secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. told McFadden. “He has the ability to connect to people. He can play outside or inside, and his intelligence gives him the opportunity to play outside and inside because you can do multiple things with him.”
McFadden added that Dennard has been working out with the starting unit in camp so, it looks like Atlanta views him as more than just secondary help.