No. 1 – Darqueze Dennard
It’s quite sad that Darqueze Dennard might have the highest upside of any cornerback currently on the market. He’s played 16 games only once (2017) since the Bengals drafted him 24th overall in 2014. Very rarely has anyone seen his “A-Game.”
Somewhat like a more seasoned version of Sam Beal, Dennard’s pro career so far has been marred by injuries. For example, after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in the previous offseason, he didn’t make his 2019 debut until Game 7. From there, Dennard started five of nine games he was active and played at least 75 percent of Cincinnati’s defensive snaps in all but one of them. Opposing quarterbacks had a pedestrian 79.2 passer rating against him.
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He appeared to have found a new home in Jacksonville this spring. According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, after coming close on a three-year, $13.5M contract ($6M guaranteed) with the Jags, talks fell through at the end of March. Despite playing mostly in the slot, Jacksonville was considering Dennard as a replacement for the departed A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey at the outside/ shutdown corner position.
Dennard has value in coverage. Now that moving to Florida in 2020 is out the window, the Giants may be able to get him on the cheap. Since Big Blue already has recently signed James Bradberry in the shutdown role, Dennard would be a good compliment on the inside. Additionally, he is a good citizen in the community.
Who do you think should take over for Deandre Baker as the New York Giants starting cornerback? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.