Alfonzo Dennard's draft stock was derailed by an off-the-field incident. As a result, Nebraska's cornerback fell all the way to the seventh round, where the New England Patriots were waiting.
With stocky legs, short arms and innate skills, it's difficult to pinpoint a current or former Patriot who accurately reflects Dennard. Yet his size and abilities do resemble one familiar defensive back—Ellis Hobbs.
Hobbs was a Patriots third-round draft pick in 2005 and played four of his six NFL seasons in New England before retiring due to a neck injury in 2011. He was quick and talented, but will be remembered for allowing the New York Giants' Plaxico Burress to catch the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII.
Like the 5'9" Hobbs, Dennard is a shorter cornerback with a generous listed height of 5'10". He too, is best utilized in zone coverage and can get beat from time to time.
Hobbs also managed to return three kicks for touchdowns when he was a member of the Patriots. Which brings a facet to the game that Dennard should expand upon: special teams duty.
The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe believes that Dennard will need to establish himself as a capable special teams player as well, to ensure he makes the 53-man roster.
Ultimately, Dennard is blessed with deceptive speed and toughness. Those traits fit the mold of an NFL nickelback—a place where Hobbs spent part of his pro career.