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But I would say Dennard to me could definitely be in the Leon Hall range as a CB...around about a top 10-15 CB, which is perfectly fine as a #15 overall pick, that is a quality player.
Gilbert has elite physical ability, return skills, and ball skills. Dennard has the elite technique and brian for understanding how to not get beat on both inside and outside technique, he can stay on a WRs hip.
Gilbert is more of zone CB, can run with anyone but isnt afraid to jump the ball and take chances. Really its what you prefer when watching these guys
Gilbert i like because of excellent return ability and he has FS potential if he busts at CB, which is scary to me when taking a CB in the first round, not an easy position to play by any means
—The Pittsburgh Steelers were all over the Michigan State pro day, and you can easily connect the dots there to cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Both head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert attended. With the No. 15 overall pick in the draft, the Steelers are in range to land the aggressive cornerback.
It really depends on who the Lions take. If they take Dennard, the Steelers roll with Gilbert...and vice versa.
2014 Pro Days: Michigan State CB Dennard shows explosiveness
By Jeff Reynolds | NFLDraftScout.com
March 11, 2014
Darqueze Dennard again shows an NFL-ready set of skills.
Darqueze Dennard cannot beat Justin Gilbert in a footrace, but he is closer to the total package as an NFL cornerback than Oklahoma State's flashy and fast cover man.
Dennard starred at Michigan State as a lockdown cornerback. He is knocked for what scouts term "tight hips" and ankles, which limit his suddeness and agility, especially when turning to run and accelerate at the top of a route. In scouting terms, he is not a twitchy athlete. Gilbert could define that term. He has straight-line speed to spare -- witness his 4.37 TV time at the NFL Scouting Combine -- and moves with ease in all directions despite very good size.
Dennard is nicked for being too grabby in the man-press scheme he starred in at Michigan State. But he is a rare commodity for NFL scouts -- a ready-made cover man with proven ability in this type of bump coverage.
Tuesday, Dennard added to his resume with a workout that displayed he has more than adequate short-area explosiveness.
Dennard led all Spartans with a 36-inch vertical -- Gilbert went 35 1/2 at the combine -- and his broad jump was 11-2 (Gilbert went 10-5 in Indianapolis). Only Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk had a broad jump of 11-2 of all players tested at the event.
Fit is of dire importance for Dennard, who needs to be in a scheme that emphasizes his physical brand of football and downplays the kind of freelancing that some scouts believe makes Gilbert more of a boom-or-bust prospect.
He could come off the board in the top 10 but isn't likely to slide below the middle of the round. Chicago -- especially if the Bears lose Pro Bowl veteran Charles Tillman in free agency -- could be a fit at No. 14. There might be no better match than the Pittsbugh Steelers at 15. Head coach Mike Tomlin and GM Kevin Colbert represented the team in East Lansing Tuesday.
The Steelers are in need of young playmakers on defense -- especially those that come at a relatively cheap cost.
It could be hauntingly similar to 2007 for the Steelers, when Darrelle Revis went 14th to the New York Jets and Pittsburgh drafted linebacker Lawrence Timmons 15th.
Here's a tale of the tape for consideration:
Darrelle Revis (2007, 14): 6-0, 204, 4.35 (fastest verified time), 10-5 broad, 38-inch VJ
Patrick Peterson (2011, 5th pick): 6-0, 219, 4.31 (fastest verified), 10-6 broad, 36-inch VJ
Stephon Gilmore (2012, 10): 6-1, 190, 4.38 (fastest verified), 10-3 broad, 36-inch VJ
Darqueze Dennard (2014): 5-11, 199, 4.38 (fastest verified), 11-2 broad, 36-inch VJ
Darqueze Dennard – Corner – Michigan State – Dennard did not run at the MSU pro day, but he had a vertical jump of 36” and a long jump of 11’2”! He also had outstanding positional drill work.