The Arizona Cardinals didn't end up drafting a cornerback, but they did add one to the rostrer. On Wednesday the team announced they were awarded a waiver claim on Alfonzo Dennard, who had played three seasons for the New England Patriots before being released on Tuesday.
Dennard (5-10, 200) comes to Arizona from the Patriots where played the past three seasons after being drafted in the seventh round (224th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Nebraska. With the Patriots, he played in 29 games with 20 starts and had 92 tackles (80 solos), five interceptions, 17 passes defensed, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Last season, Dennard played in six games (four starts) and had 15 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery before being placed on injured reserve (hamstring) on December 27. He started 16 games over his first two seasons in the league and set a career high with three interceptions as a rookie in 2012.
He landed on injured reserve after a hamstring injury hampered him for much of the season.
Considering the type of corners the Cardinals have been stockpiling, Dennard is an interesting addition. Head coach Bruce Arians has talked about adding length and speed. At 5-10, Dennard is not exactly long. However, general manager Steve Keim said on SiriusXM Radio "he's a lot like other players in our secondary...versatile." Keim was pleased with what they saw of him on film.
Arizona will pay Dennard's salary of a little more than $1.5 million. He enters the final year of his contract.
Where will he fit? He has been mostly a starter in his three seasons, but has yet to play a full season. In each of his three seasons in the league, he has played in 10, 13 and six games. In terms of the depth chart, he will likely begin as CB4. He could push Justin Bethel or Jerraud Powers if he stays healthy and learns the defense quickly.
With the Cardinals roster already at the maximum of 90 players for the offseason, someone will have to be released to make room for Dennard.