New England Patriots: Will Darryl Roberts Be This Year’s Alfonzo Dennard?


Alfonzo Dennard was a 7th round pick during the 2012 draft, that got an early opportunity to play due to arriving on a depleted secondary. It’s safe to assume Darryl Roberts will be given an early opportunity due to similar circumstances as Dennard.

A lot of potential breakout candidates will be a main focus during training camp with so few roster locks at the corner position. Roberts should be able to match Dennard’s old production. Although the All-Conference USA First Team cornerback didn’t recieve an invite to the NFL Combine he ran a 4.36 and a 4.39 at his Marshall Pro Day and benched 225lbs 23 times, which was more than any cornerback at the combine. He has good size at 6’0 ft, 190 pounds, and with long arms. He is a solid form tackler, a trait Bill Belichick loves for his corners and has a knack for getting a hand on the ball. Roberts ranked among the top 10 in the FBS in passes defended his senior year with 18 pass breakups.

Before Dennard’s untimely release he was a steal for the Patriots because he was a gamer. He started in 20 of the 29 games he played in excluding the playoffs: defending 17 passes, snatching six more for interceptions, and taking two of them for touchdowns. If it weren’t for the arrival of Pro Bowlers Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner; Dennard could’ve carved out a significant role for this passed season before being a healthy scratch for injury reserve.

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  • The current roster has Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Bradley Fletcher, Robert McClain, Darry Roberts, and a few undrafted free agents. Keep an eye on Jimmy Jean the undrafted free agent from UAB, he has intriguing size standing at 6’3. Roberts could be primed to replace Kyle Arrington in the slot given his short area quickness, willingness to form tackle, and quick hands. Worse case scenario, Roberts will be a core special teamer and rotate with Logan Ryan in the slot because Ryan could be forced to move inside with his Arrington-esque troubles on the boundary. Ryan is a interception machine but, has trouble with big primary receivers. Based on his film Roberts has the skill, size, speed, strength, and toughness to play outside. I’m sure Belichick will put him on the outside eventually but will want to bring him along slow at first. At Marshall Roberts produced 185 tackles, five interceptions, and 38 passes defended over his four year career. Lets see how he produces during training camp and if he survives final cuts.