The Cincinnati Bengals locked down their first-round cornerback.
The team announced Thursday that No. 24 overall pick Darqueze Dennard signed his rookie contract.
The 5-foot-11 corner is tough, muscular, thrives in press coverage and can play the ball in close quarters.
Dennard started 40 games at Michigan State, with his best season coming in 2013. While he wasn't as fast or athletic as some of the other corners in his draft class, he might be the most ready to play right away.
The supremely physical corner fills a need in the Bengals' secondary and has spent offseason practices working in the first-team slot.
Dennard's cousin, Alfonzo, is a cornerback with the New England Patriots.