FOXBORO -- With their last two picks in the NFL draft on Saturday, the Patriots selected Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard with the 224th pick and Northwestern wide receiver Jeremy Ebert with the 235th pick, both seventh rounders.
Dennard was considered one of the better on-field talents at corner, but has caught up in several character questions. The 5-foot-10, 204-pounder out of Nebraska was arrested five days before the draft for suspicion of assaulting a police office. That came on the heels of a senior season where he was ejected from the 2012 Capital One Bowl for fighting with South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The 22-year-old Dennard had 31 total tackles and broke up six passes in the 2011 season, and had 91 career tackles, four career interceptions and four career quarterback hurries. He was All-Big Ten first team (2011) and was The Sporting News Preseason second-team All-America (2011).
As for Ebert, he's a 6-foot, 195-pounder who had a slow start to his college career -- he struggled a bit in 2009 after undergoing surgery on his left hip (labrum), but had a 62-catch season as a junior, and had 75 receptions for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Wildcats in 2011. (For his collegiate career, he had 173 catches for 2,400 yards and 21 touchdowns.) A former prep quarterback, he also has special teams experience, mostly as a returner.
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