PJD is on vacation. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.
Today, we look at Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.
From ESPN’s flap jacks, because I’m sure Shawn Zobel is copying and pasting from them also:
On the shorter side for a corner prospect but has above average bulk and good top-end speed.
Injured shoulder during 2009 Baylor game. Hampered him for the remainder of the season and forced him to miss the Kansas State game. Missed most of the Missouri game and all off the Iowa State game with a concussion in 2010.
Tough competitor that has earned the respect of coaching staff. Almost declared for 2011 NFL draft to help mother with finances and health care but returned to school with her blessing.
Flashed above average instincts and ability to keep receiver on back when facing line of scrimmage. Reads receiver and quickly reacts to any kind of break but may react better than anticipates. Bit on a double and got beat over the top in the third quarter of the 2010 Texas A&M game. Slow to turn to locate the ball and can get flagged for pass interference because of it.
Quick twitch athlete that can shadow receivers getting in and out of breaks. Fast enough to run with most receivers on vertical routes. Above average recovery speed when caught out of position. Effective press corner when gets hands on receiver. Strong for size and can reroute bigger receivers but not as effective in pres bail coverage. Can be too quick to cross over when forced to open up and receiver shoots inside. Took one extra step and could be a touch smoother when forced to turn. Closed well but a little too high in backpedal gave receiver too much of a cushion at times.
Flashed ability to make big play and can come down with 50-50 balls but didn’t show the ability to extend arms and snatch the ball out of the air. Trapped passes against frame. Dropped passes that could have picked including one in the third quarter of the 2010 Oklahoma State game. Can look for ball over outside shoulder instead of inside shoulder when running with receivers downfield.
Flashed strong punch and didn’t back down from bigger receivers but got caught up in fights and took too long to get off blocks. Sub-par tackler that reached out arm instead of squaring up or attacking the ball carrier’s legs.
Full disclosure; I’m a Nebraska homer. I’ve watched Fonzo for the past three years closely, and the guy is as good as advertised. Remember how we all wanted the Vikings to draft Prince Amukamara from Nebraska last year? Well, this guy might be even better. I’ll tell you right now that the injury concerns listed here are complete bullshit, his size is almost of no concern, and his production is skewed because people never threw towards him. He’s that good. He’d end up being a great pick with our 2nd rounder, if he somehow could fall that far. I also remember watching the Nebraska/Goofers game in 2011 closely (because I like Nebraska, living here, put two-and-two together, lady boys) and hearing about how Vikings scouts were at the game to watch certain draft prospects. Well, we know they weren’t watching any Gophers players, so we can assume that Fonzo has caught the eye of the Vikings, and if that’s the case, thank your lucky stars. If he ends up on the team you will be mighty happy.
As an additional note, him and teammate, linebacker Lavonte David have been nicknamed “Swag Patrol,” which is awesome, and would be even awesomer if they both ended up on the Vikings, because then we would have a worthwhile nickname to use. CROSSING FINGERS!