In need of some youth at cornerback, the Bengals selected one of the top prospects at the position on Thursday night, taking Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard No. 24 overall in Round One.
Dennard (5-10, 199) won the Jim Thorpe Award as college football’s outstanding defensive back in 2013, intercepting four passes for the Spartans. He also earned All-American honors.
Dennard joins Leon Hall, Terence Newman, Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick on the Bengals’ cornerback depth chart. With such experience on hand, the Bengals may have the luxury to slowly work in Dennard, but the club has been willing to play rookies right off the bat in Marvin Lewis’ tenure as head coach. Also, Hall is recovering from his second Achilles injury since 2011.