- Mike Reiss, ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who slipped to the seventh round of the NFL draft after an April 21 arrest, is the subject of a story in the Cordele (Ga.) Dispatch. The piece details what is to come legally for Dennard, and which NFL teams had him on their radar before the Patriots selected him.
A snippet from the piece (link here):
“We felt from the beginning the possibility of him going (in the first or second round) was out as the result of the incident in which he has a scheduled May 15 court date,” said Wilcox High head football coach Mark Ledford, for whom Dennard was a starter for three seasons during his 2004-07 prep career.
“There was still some hope Friday night he would be picked in the third round but after that didn’t happen, we all felt sure he would be a fourth- or fifth-round pick but again that wasn’t the case.
“As the day wore on Saturday, it was encouraging, however, that he and his agents were in contact with at least 4-5 NFL teams including Tampa Bay, Miami, Tennessee and New England.”
In a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview on Monday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed Dennard's arrest and said the Patriots feel "at the core, that's not who Alfonzo is."
In the Sirius interview, Belichick was asked to take the hosts through the process of sorting through off-field issues when drafting a player.
"We've had situations throughout my tenure here with the Patriots where players have gone lower in the draft than maybe where they were expected to go by whoever that is that expects them to go higher. We ran into that situation last year with Marcus Cannon as it related to his physical condition. We ran into it a couple years ago with Aaron Hernandez and some of the things that came with him when he came out of Florida. Of course, Alfonzo had an incident two weeks ago in Nebraska.
"The process is, we get the information, and of course I talk to Mr. Kraft and ownership about each player, if there are any things that need to be approved by the organization, and I did that with Alfonzo, as I do with all the players.
"We had another situation a couple of years ago, with Brandon Meriweather, when he got into a fight and was ejected from a game. Kind of an ugly incident at Miami. But you know, all those players have been able to kind of put that behind them. We've all made mistakes. Lord knows, nobody has made more than I have. Sometimes the second opportunity, you learn from your mistakes. ... We'll see how the whole incident comes out in time; that's in legal hands and ultimately a judge will make that decision. We just don't feel that's who he is, or even how the account of the incident came out in some places, that's what happened. But we'll see. Bottom line is we were comfortable with him, and that if he did make a mistake like so many of us have, that he'll be able to represent our organization and our team the way we want it represented and we were comfortable taking him."
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who slipped to the seventh round of the NFL draft after an April 21 arrest, is the subject of a story in the Cordele (Ga.) Dispatch.