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Pre-draft arrest left Alfonzo Dennard available for Patriots

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When Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested and accused of punching a police officer days before the NFL draft, it was about as big a pre-draft mistake as a player could make. But in the long run it could benefit the Patriots.

New England drafted Dennard in the seventh round, and afterward, coach Bill Belichick said that while Dennard’s draft stock dropped after the arrest, the team still felt like a player so talented he was once discussed as a likely first-round pick was worth a chance in the seventh round.

Obviously the incident affected his draft position but certainly we’re aware of it,” Belichick said, via Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. “We researched it, we found out as much as we could about it. Obviously, as an organization we’re comfortable making the selection where we did.”

Belichick praised what he saw on the field from Dennard, who was named the best defensive back in the Big Ten last season.

“He’s strong. He’s a physical player,” Belichick said. “Obviously he played at a high level of competition, particularly in the 2010 season where they played so much in the passing conference [the Big 12] – a lot of spread out offenses, a lot of nickel, dime coverage and that type of thing. Then this year, when Nebraska went to the Big Ten, they saw really a whole different schedule, a whole different style of offensive football from those teams that they played so it was interesting to watch all that . . . two different years, really two different styles of offense. He’s gone up against a lot of good players and competed well.”

The Patriots saw Dennard go up against enough good opposition that they believe he can play in the NFL. They’ll just hope he doesn’t go up against any more cops.

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50 Responses to “Pre-draft arrest left Alfonzo Dennard available for Patriots”
  1. dtjano says: Apr 29, 2012 3:11 PM

    “The Patriot way”

  2. doe22us says: Apr 29, 2012 3:14 PM

    So what if he is convicted and spends some time in the slammer Bill????

  3. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 29, 2012 3:19 PM

    Alf becomes part of the Pats’ 2012 “Halfway House” draft.

  4. randygnyc says: Apr 29, 2012 3:29 PM

    Really, there’s no excuse for punching a cop. His fist didn’t accidentally land on the cops’ jaw.

    Character matters. Apparently, not in the NFL

  5. randomguy9999 says: Apr 29, 2012 3:31 PM

    Cost him big in the short run, but now he’s got a real chance of making it pay off in the long run…. Strange

    As long as he doesn’t screw it up

  6. patsfiend says: Apr 29, 2012 3:42 PM

    dtjano says:
    Apr 29, 2012 3:11 PM
    “The Patriot way”
    ——–
    … will be to have this kid learn from quality coaches and smart players, and hopefully watch him be a regular contributor on defense and special teams… after only using a 7th round pick on him.

  7. ticklemepickle77 says: Apr 29, 2012 3:44 PM

    Garbage like this should not be allowed to play. Every time I see thrash like this I feel like giving up on the NFL. Why give criminals my money.

  8. tfbuckfutter says: Apr 29, 2012 3:49 PM

    I’d be fine if he punched his grandmother as long as he can actually help shore up that turrible secondary.

  9. whodeytn says: Apr 29, 2012 3:58 PM

    If the Bengals took this guy, everyone would be ripping them a new one!

  10. kathyisintheroom says: Apr 29, 2012 4:06 PM

    New England turns nobody away. Bill is so desperate to prove he is the “genius” the media labled him as instead of the FRAUD that he was finally revealed to be.
    He will take ex-cons, or soon-to-be convicts.
    He nor the organization has no shame, or morals.

    Cincinnatti and Mike Brown are Boy Scouts in comparison

  11. jluns275 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:11 PM

    wait a minute….I thought this guy was supposed to be a Bengal!
    Either way, he’s destined to wear stripes.

  12. whodey28 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:12 PM

    Where is all of the Patriot bashing? I realize they have a better track record than the Bengals, but if Cincinnati did this we would see all kinds of criticism.

  13. cosanostra71 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:12 PM

    don’t like the Patriots but you have to like this pick for them. Dennard has a ton of talent, and to get him this late is great value.

  14. meytonpanning says: Apr 29, 2012 4:19 PM

    This has to be one of Belichick’s best drafts. It may not go noticed next season necessarily, but definitely quickly enough to keep the Pats competitive.

    The AFC East should be a lot tougher this year for the offensive line of the Patriots, without Matt Light and all the opposing pass rushers now in the division.

    So as long as the o-line can stay healthy I feel the Patriots should win the division (a lot more closely this year though).

  15. patriots123456 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:19 PM

    It’s very hard for the average 7th round pick to make one of the better NFL teams. Because they are loaded with talent. So the Patriots are virtually gambling on a 7th round pick with 1st round talent. Doesn’t look stupid to me.

  16. jrfrom508 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:19 PM

    I hope they move him to Safety next to Pat Chung! #BEASTMODE

    Sick defensive draft all around!!

  17. steelhammer92 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:19 PM

    So the Bengals, Steelers, Rams, etc get scrutinized for taking players with baggage, and the Patriots take a player who punched a cop and all anybody can do is praise them because it’s the almighty Patriots?

    I think it has more to do with the fact that Bill has been striking out drafting defense lately, and he’s now getting a bit desperate.

  18. rtk23 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:24 PM

    Actually there are plenty of cops who need punched. And then punches again.

  19. detroitcityryda says: Apr 29, 2012 4:29 PM

    Big steal for pats kid will turn up
    to be one of the top CB’s in this draft and they need it .lots of teams got lucky in this draft with top talent because of few minor issues that will go away once the season begins .jenkins, berfucit, denard, will all play hard .

  20. cincystew says: Apr 29, 2012 4:38 PM

    So the bengals get burfict for nothing and it’s same old bungals, but wise bill uses one of his few picks on another idiot who was dumb enough to cost himself millions in the days leading up to the draft, and who like burfict also had a down year, and there’s nothing but compliments. Cincy fans know we are the land of second chances. Florio needs to get his lackey’s head out of his butt and realize the patriots have been dumpster diving for years… Just bc they have been more successful at it doesn’t mean they don’t follow a similar philosophy. Heck, they’ve even taken Bengal trash over the last decade in dillon and Ocho

  21. j0esixpack says: Apr 29, 2012 4:40 PM

    There would have been a lot of interest in him as an UDFA… no risk for Belichick to use a 7th rounder on him and eliminate the competition. If he behaves he may be a top talent.

  22. august1969 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:42 PM

    seriously….this kid is going to be suspended for conduct detrimental….or is he fine because he was not actually in the NFL when it happened?

    whatever….if he’s good and Ras I is good…the Pats are set at DB

    if not, then they are exactly where they were last season

    but that unit was good at the end of the season and the playoffs

  23. jmc000 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:43 PM

    officer*

  24. nflfan555 says: Apr 29, 2012 5:00 PM

    I dont care if he hit Obama in the face, if the kid can play, come on now lets not forget this if football not tennis, are you freakin kidding me a 7th rounder – he screws up he’s gone no harm no foul… PERIOD! Great Move

  25. nflfan555 says: Apr 29, 2012 5:01 PM

    Oh by the way look at the turd watch – there is one guy like this on every team. You also have Ben Raplethberger high profile rapist QB, but I guess that is ok!

  26. bradentonbuc says: Apr 29, 2012 5:15 PM

    He got torched by Alshon Jeffrey in the Citrus Bowl, so he started a fight and had them both kicked out.

  27. patriots123456 says: Apr 29, 2012 5:19 PM

    Last 5 years Patriot’s draft:

    2011 = 5,6, & 7th, round picks cut
    2010 = 7th round 4 picks, one made team
    2009 = 7th round 2 picks, one made team
    2008 = last pick was 6th round, cut.
    2007 = 7th round 2 picks, cut.

    Most late round picks don’t make the cut. So this gamble (for 1st round talent) seems very feasible IMO.

  28. dyims says: Apr 29, 2012 5:23 PM

    Hey cincystew, I guess your memory is as long as your nose… I believe that Corey Dillon did pretty damn good with the Pats.

  29. nopepper123 says: Apr 29, 2012 5:27 PM

    Why is it that if the Bengals draft this guy, they are ridiculed on this site, but if the Patriots do it, they were genious’s?

  30. gambeast5533 says: Apr 29, 2012 5:28 PM

    Let’s put things in perspective here, Randy Moss ran his CAR into a Meter Maid and he is still in the league. Ray Lewis *allegedly* aids in a murder and he is still in the league. And, as someone else pointed out, you have the master rapist, Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh as well. There are criminals all over the league, guys. Get over it.

  31. backindasaddle says: Apr 29, 2012 5:33 PM

    doe22us says:
    Apr 29, 2012 3:14 PM
    So what if he is convicted and spends some time in the slammer Bill????
    ______________________________________________________

    Then they lose a 7th round pick. Big deal. It’s called “calculated risk” and Bill is good at it. Now here’s a question for you. What if the kid keeps his nose clean and uses his 1st round talent to becomes a starting cornerback and a fixture in the Patriots defense for the next 10 years? Wouldn’t that be a kick in the nuts huh doe?

  32. pooflingingmonkey says: Apr 29, 2012 5:34 PM

    I doubt Robert Kraft steps in this time, telling Belichick to cut this guy like he did with Christian Peter.

  33. mornelithe says: Apr 29, 2012 5:41 PM

    randygnyc says:
    Apr 29, 2012 3:29 PM
    Really, there’s no excuse for punching a cop. His fist didn’t accidentally land on the cops’ jaw.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Tell that to Rodney King, and the innocent people murdered by police in New Orleans after Katrina. Cops aren’t lily white, which is why so many people have problems with them.

  34. faulkana says: Apr 29, 2012 5:47 PM

    meytonpanning says:
    Apr 29, 2012 4:19 PM

    The AFC East should be a lot tougher this year for the offensive line of the Patriots, without Matt Light and all the opposing pass rushers now in the division.

    So as long as the o-line can stay healthy I feel the Patriots should win the division (a lot more closely this year though).
    —————————————————-

    I disagree. I think with Vollmer and Solder developing very well so far, the Pats should do fine. I think that they will win the AFC East very easily. The only other team that will break .500 are the Bills at 9-7.
    The Jets will be a smoldering circus tent, and the Dolphins have nothing, ok….not much. They will both end up at 7-9.
    I think lost in all of the Tebowmania is the fact that he is a crappy QB. Sanchez is way better, but still not that good. Now he is a mental wreck, too. Nice job Rex!
    The Dolphins are really young. I like Matt Moore. I think he did a great job last year. I think that they should respect him more. Garrard? Really? No way. Stick with Moore. He did a lot with nothing last year.
    The Pats, at first glance, have a schedule that is ripe for the pluckin’. I would expect no worse than 13-3, but probably 14-2.
    Just sayin.

  35. mjkelly77 says: Apr 29, 2012 5:47 PM

    Character doesn’t matter with the Pats. The whole organization is full of (w)hores who would sell their mothers for any advantage.

  36. rcali says: Apr 29, 2012 6:15 PM

    Character? Pats? Laughable. That ship has sailed.

  37. tfbuckfutter says: Apr 29, 2012 6:17 PM

    nopepper123 says: Apr 29, 2012 5:27 PM

    Why is it that if the Bengals draft this guy, they are ridiculed on this site, but if the Patriots do it, they were genious’s?

    ———————————-

    I am quite impressed with how many things went wrong for you at the very end of that sentence.

  38. patriots123456 says: Apr 29, 2012 6:22 PM

    NFL = National Felons League

  39. backindasaddle says: Apr 29, 2012 6:51 PM

    nopepper123 says:
    Apr 29, 2012 5:27 PM
    Why is it that if the Bengals draft this guy, they are ridiculed on this site, but if the Patriots do it, they were genious’s?
    ________________________________________________________

    Because the Pats make all the right moves and make everything work for them. The Bungles make all the wrong moves and nothing works for them.

  40. bingobrown12 says: Apr 29, 2012 6:54 PM

    The Bengals get ridiculed because they done this a lot of times and with a high pick.When and if they
    figure out their mistake they usually don’t cut the
    player.Moss opened his trap(gone)Haynesworth got
    lazy(gone)and if this idiot messes up again GONE!

  41. scooter7777777 says: Apr 29, 2012 6:58 PM

    First: I GUARANTEE that at least 40% of the NFL players have been either arrested, charged with a crime or convicted in a court of law for a crime they allegedly committed, so everyone just get off their damn soapboxes and stop acting like Mother Theresa already.

    And, I GUARANTEE at least 30% of all PFT readers have had the same issues with the law(the percentage goes up 50% for Raiders fans, lol). So those people can drop the hypocritical BS.

    Enough of this crap that “guys like this” shouldn’t be in the NFL. … If we eliminated government officials based on their troubles with law, we’d get rid of close to 50% of all the politicians in office. The NFL doesn’t appeal to most everyone because it has a bunch of choir boys, it appeals to them because these guys play weith a mean streak and proverbial chips on their shoulders.

    The NFL still rules the sports landscape.

  42. skilaufenhase says: Apr 29, 2012 7:00 PM

    Why do people love the police so much?

  43. dtjano says: Apr 29, 2012 7:14 PM

    Janoris Jenkins was a 1st rd talent who fell because of being an idiot. If Dennard was a 1st rd talent he wouldn’t of lasted til the 7th rd.

  44. axltcu says: Apr 29, 2012 7:34 PM

    The difference between the Bengals and the Pats is that the Bengals will keep a player even if the trouble continues. The Pats will try to turn the player around and if it doesn’t work they get rid of them. If Dennard truly wishes to change his image the Pats is the perfect place. If he continues on his police punching path the Pats will not be afraid to cut the cord. See how quickly they got rid of Haynesworth? Benjarvus Green Ellis on the other hand had off the field issues, but the Pats turned him around and now he is a highly regarded player.

  45. 305phinphan says: Apr 29, 2012 8:22 PM

    BB has drafted 27 defensive players since 2007. The Pats finished last season with the 31st ranked defence in the entire NFL. He might be one helleva coach but when it comes to drafting players he is horrible! Maybe he wouldn’t even be a helleva coach if Tom Brady never turned out the way he did.

  46. dirtierwater says: Apr 29, 2012 8:50 PM

    Two things:

    One, there’s a number of reasons why it’s good to draft college team captains, as Belichick prefers to do. This is one of them.

    Two, the kid is a freaking kid, for crying out loud. I did insanely stupid things when I was that young (including punching a cop, btw) too.

    I never ridicule these troubled kids until it becomes obvious they just won’t grow up.

  47. raiderapologist says: Apr 29, 2012 8:57 PM

    august1969 says: Apr 29, 2012 4:42 PM

    seriously….this kid is going to be suspended for conduct detrimental….or is he fine because he was not actually in the NFL when it happened?

    Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor are available to answer that question for you.

  48. jolink653 says: Apr 29, 2012 9:38 PM

    the bengals are ridiculed because they take repeat offenders not just rookies out of college who make a mistake every now and then…tank johnson gets arrested for weapon possession then signs with the bengals…pacman jones has every legal problem in the book and then signs with the bengals…nate webster just committed statutory rape and rey maualuga just assaulted someone and had a dui arrest before that…chris henry had a ton of legal problems…how many patriots can you name that have had problems like that? i personally think burfict is a great pickup for them and i had hoped the patriots would take a shot at him…dennard made a mistake and if he does it again while he’s a member of the patriots then he’ll find himself in the unemployment line

  49. CKL says: Apr 30, 2012 1:22 AM

    axltcu says: Apr 29, 2012 7:34 PM

    Benjarvus Green Ellis on the other hand had off the field issues, but the Pats turned him around and now he is a highly regarded player.
    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    I was with you until this. What????? Law Firm has always been a model type citizen AFAIK.

  50. howiegtr says: Apr 30, 2012 9:47 AM

    To all the critics: I’m not a religious person but;
    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Everyone makes mistakes. If you don’t believe you do make mistakes, then why are to a millionaire posting garbage here?

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