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NFL Draft 2014: Darqueze Dennard Goes 24th to the Cincinnati Bengals

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Dennard becomes the first Spartan to go in the first round since Charles Rogers in 2003.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations Bengals! By taking him with the 24th pick, you are now the proud employer of Darqueze Dennard, one of the best defensive players to grace East Lansing in the past decade.

About a decade ago, MSU's secondary was mediocre at best under John L. Smith and Bobby Williams. Sure, every now and then we'd get a good secondary player like Otis Wiley, but often the Spartans resorted to converting running backs into corners to fill the lack of talent at the position.

However, Mark Dantonio became head coach and slowly changed that. Now, the Spartan secondary is one of the best in the nation. Chris L. Rucker went in the draft. Then Johnny Adams set a new standard for productivity and excellence in the secondary. Now Dennard, the newest model in the line of Spartan pass-stoppers, sets off to make his mark in the NFL, from a two-star CB out of Dry Branch, Georgia to playing as a first-round pick at the highest level.

Congratulations Darqueze. We loved having you for four years, and we'll love watching you in the NFL.