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Darqueze Dennard's speed is an issue with his detractors

AJ Mast/Associated Press
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard says he still has a lot to prove at the scouting combine.

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard said skipping the Reese's Senior Bowl was "a business decision," but also says he has "a lot to prove" at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.

Dennard had accepted an invitation to last month's Senior Bowl but later backed out when he said his agent told him there was no need to play in the event.

"We weighed the pros and the cons of the game, and the cons outweighed the pros in my case," he told MLive.com. "There wasn't any of the other projected top five corners in the Senior Bowl, so I would have been the only one down there."

The next step in the draft process is the combine, which he has been preparing for at the XTE facility in Boca Raton, Fla.

"I still feel like I have a lot to prove," he said. "There are some who say there are some flaws in my game, and I can't wait to prove them wrong."

Dennard (5-foot-10, 197 pounds) is considered perhaps the most physical corner in the draft, but there are questions about his speed and whether he will be able to play as physically in the NFL as he did in the Big Ten.

He is close to his cousin, New England Patriots corner Alfonzo Dennard, and will be able to learn from him about the draft process. One quirk: They pronounce their last names differently. The Patriots' corner pronounces it DEN-ard; the Spartans' corner pronounces it Duh-NARD.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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