Did Alfonzo Dennard catch a break in the draft or should he have hoped for free agency?
Brian: If there was a silver lining to being drafted after 20-some odd other corners, it was being picked by New England.
The Patriots were next to last in the NFL last year in both total defense and pass efficiency defense last season. Bill Belichick-esque, this team was not. Imagine if the defense was marginally better against the Giants. Dennard is going to get a smaller contract and have little to no expectations.
Stewart Mandel was correct in his convo with Brandon when he said that Fonzie doesn’t have as much baggage as higher up draft picks would. Boston doesn’t really offer the thrilling nightlife that can get a player in hot water when going from no money to League money. He needs to stay clear of trouble, work on being the player we all know he is and get paid big bucks in four years or so.
Derek: It can be more advantageous for a player to go undrafted than to be chosen in the seventh road, given that the player can choose a team that has a better opportunity (Tony Romo choosing the Cowboys over the Broncos after the latter invested in Jake Plummer). However, the Patriots weren’t exactly stellar in the secondary a year ago and didn’t even sign a free agent defensive back.
With the upgrades for the Patriot defensive line in the early rounds, New England’s defense should improve as a whole with the biggest boost being at cornerback thanks to former Miami Dolphin Will Allen.
It looks the Patriots will be giving Dennard every chance to make the team. All he has to do is not screw it up and thank Bo Pelini for bringing in Bill Belichick to speak at the Nebraska Coaches Clinic.
Brandon: Once again, Bill Belichick shows us all how to do this properly. He gets a first/second-round cornerback for seventh round money. Rather than giving Dennard the option to choose among free agency, Belichick does him one of the biggest favors imaginable for one of the last guys picked – Drafts him to a winning franchise.
I agree with Stewart Mandel who said that the lower draft pick gives Dennard a shorter leash. The pick makes it clear from the get-go that “We wanted you, but you need to straighten up and fly right.” That’s not to say Dennard isn’t a good guy, but his behavior has been concerning lately.
The media can make a big thing about the Pats bringing Fonzie in after his recent troubles, but Belichick seems like one of the people who couldn’t care less.