We at Patriots Life are giving out our post-season awards. Previously, we revealed the New England Patriots 2012 MVP, the Offensive Player of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year. Now, in an impressive year for rookies, we choose our Rookie of the Year. And the award goes to...
If you would have asked me at the half way point of the year who the Patriots rookie of the year was, I would have said, without any hesitation, Chandler Jones. Heck, I even predicted in November he would win the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. But injuries came and stopped Jones from being the playmaker he was in the first half of the season.
If Jones had carried on like that all season, he would get this. But it would have been close with Dennard. Dennard, a 7th round pick, has given us a solid corner who doesn't give up too many big plays. He, along with Aqib Talib, gave the Patriots an NFL caliber cornerback tandem, that could take receivers and stop them having a major impact on the game, and also make plays.
In 10 games this season, Dennard made 35 tackles, made 3 INTs, returning one for an 87 yard TD, defended 7 passes and also forced a fumble. Not too bad for a 7th rounder who came into the team in week 5. He also gave the Pats the option to switch Devin McCourty to safety, where he played better and made the secondary better.
If Dennard can get a full season under his belt as the No. 2 CB again, he can definitely improve, and maybe become the No. 1 corner in the future.
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