A dozen years ago, the Patriots benefited tremendously from the availability in round six of a quarterback who would become one of the best to put a helmet over his widely varying types and lengths of hair. But Tom Brady didn’t slide; he wasn’t expected to go much higher, if any higher, than the sixth round.
In 2012, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard did a draft-day free fall after an unfortunate incident from the prior weekend involving an alleged punch to an actual cop. Though the drop wasn’t a surprise in light of his arrest, Dennard would have been draft much higher but for the arrest.
In the end, it could end up being another coup for the Pats.
Dennard’s agent, Brian Murphy, explains to Tom Curran of CSN New England that the former Cornhusker remains in good spirits despite enduring a major disappointment. “His reaction to the whole process was mind-boggling to me because he said, ‘Things happen the way they’re supposed to happen. And this is all happening for a reason and all I can do is prove everyone wrong and show that I’m a great cornerback, a great teammate and a great man,’ and he wants to reward the Patriots for the faith they showed. I wouldn’t describe him as down and out,” Murphy told Curran.
Murphy’s predictable assessment meshes with recent words from Dennard’s new coach and his old one. Both Bill Belichick and Bo Pelini believe in Dennard. “He’s a perfect representative of [his hometown] and they’re so proud of him,” Murphy said. “When I met him, it was always, ‘Yes, sir; No, sir; Yes, Mr. Murphy.’ When I asked what was important to him, he said taking care of his mom and representing his town well. It was a neat experience watching how the people in town reacted to him.”
Still, Dennard continues to face the felony charge of assaulting a police officer. Dennard’s arraignment is set for Wednesday. A trial date could be set during the hearing. And even if the alleged conduct was out of character, Dennard still needs to deal with the aftermath of what could end up being one of the dumbest things he ever did, or will ever do.