Dre Kirkpatrick

Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals put together the best draft class, at least on paper, that I have ever seen in the nine years I’ve been covering the draft. Of their 10 selections, I gave a 3rd-round grade or better to eight players, and the other two received 4th-round evaluations. This was the best draft class of the year, and there isn’t a close second.

Dre Kirkpatrick was overrated by the media early in the draft process, which created the perception that his stock started to slip during the draft process. He’s not as physical as you’d like, and he’s still developing his coverage technique, but the Bengals have the depth at cornerback to bring him along slowly.

Kevin Zeitler was a reach in the 1st round, especially with Cordy Glenn still on the board. But he does have the ability to step into an immediate starting role at right guard.

Devon Still doesn’t necessarily fill a need, but was a great value pick for the Bengals in the 2nd round. He will back up Geno Atkins and should be used as part of the defensive line rotation from day one.

Mohamed Sanu is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft class and could win a starting job in training camp. Due to ineffective quarterback play at Rutgers, his role was limited to that of a possession receiver, but he has the size and speed to develop into more of a true No. 1. Obviously in Cincinnati he’ll always be the No. 2 behind A.J. Green, but he has more raw talent than most No. 2 receivers.

Brandon Thompson was purely a value pick, especially after they already picked up Still in the 2nd round. He’ll compete for playing time with Domato Peko and Pat Sims in the nose tackle role.

The hype surrounding Orson Charles was purely a media creation, so it was not a surprise to see him fall to the 4th round. And while I think he was one of the most overrated prospects in this draft class, he’s a solid pickup for the Bengals. He’s essentially an oversized receiver, which is exactly the role he’ll play in Cincinnati. He’s not a threat to Jermaine Gresham’s job, but they’ll find ways to work him into the game plan.

Shaun Prater will have to fight hard to earn a spot on the final roster, but could be helped if the Bengals decide to cut ties with Nate Clements. He has the skills to win a job, but the secondary is suddenly very crowded in Cincinnati.

Marvin Jones may prove to be the steal of the draft. He lacks elite athleticism, but makes up for by being one of the most efficient route runners in this year’s class. The difference between him and Sanu is minimal, and Jones may actually be more NFL ready.

George Iloka is built like a strong safety but tackles like a kicker, which lead to his fall. He’s a developmental prospect who probably shouldn’t see the field until he improves his tackling technique, but he definitely had value in the 5th round based on his raw talent.

Boom Herron is to running backs what Marvin Jones is to receivers. He’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest player on the field but he’s smart and gets the job done. The Bengals have a crowded backfield right now, so Herron has his work cut out for him, but don’t be surprised to see him receive some significant carries this season if he impresses during training camp.

From top to bottom this was the strongest draft class. The Bengals landed better players in the 5th and 6th round than some teams landed in the 2nd and 3rd. They upgraded their depth at multiple positions and are now poised to make a serious run at the Steelers and Ravens. If this class pans out as expected, there will be a new powerhouse in the AFC North within the next three years.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Draft Grades - 2012 Comments Off

Rounds 1-3 Winners: Cincinnati Bengals

I haven’t loved every pick made by the Cincinnati Bengals, but the class as a whole is a phenomenal haul for one of the up-and-coming teams in the league.

Dre Kirkpatrick gives the Bengals a very deep secondary, and he should compete for a starting job. It wasn’t necessarily a glaring need, but the value made it the right choice.

Kevin Zeitler was a reach in my opinion, but he will step into a starting role and help solidify the offensive line. He’s a power run blocker, which is the type of team the Bengals appear to be morphing into with the combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott at running back.

The additions of Devon Still and Brandon Thompson give the Bengals an extremely deep group at defensive tackle, which should allow them to use a rotation to keep every fresh. The Steelers, Ravens and even the Browns all feature power-running offenses, which the Bengals are now equipped to stop.

Mohamed Sanu was hurt by poor quarterback play at Rutgers, and his best football is ahead of him. He’s exactly the type of possession receiver the Bengals needed to pair with A.J. Green.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bengals Comments Off

Cincinnati Bengals select Dre Kirkpatrick, Grade A-

I really like this pick for the Cincinnati Bengals. Dre Kirkpatrick has the ability to step into a starting role immediately, and gives the Bengals a very deep secondary.

He wasn’t as highly regarded around the league as most expected, but I had a solid 1st-round grade on him. He has the height to match up with the taller receivers in the league and can be valuable asset in the red zone for that reason.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bengals Comments Off

Jaguars show interest in cornerbacks

The Jacksonville Jaguars have already upgraded their secondary with the addition of Aaron Ross, but they may not be done yet.

Hosley would be a nice fit in Jacksonville

The Jaguars have scheduled visits with Dre Kirkpatrick and Jayron Hosley, both potential 1st-round picks. It seems unlikely that the Jaguars would target a corner with the 7th overall selection, but they could be interested in trading down. If the Jaguars can find a trade partner, Kirkpatrick may be available somewhere in the 12-20 range and could be a nice addition to their secondary.

However, Hosley may actually be a better fit for the Jaguars, as his skill set makes him better suited to play the nickel corner role. If he’s on the board in the 2nd round, the Jags could pull the trigger, giving them a significantly deeper secondary than a season ago.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Jaguars Comments Off

How Mario Williams affects Bills draft plans

The Buffalo Bills made the biggest free agent signing in franchise history today, officially inking Mario Williams to a six-year $96M deal. But one man cannot turn a 6-10 team into a playoff contender, so GM Buddy Nix still has plenty of work to do this offseason.

The next order of business for Nix, is to sort out his draft board and determine what area to address with the 10th pick in the draft.

Could Dre Kirkpatrick be the Bills target at No. 10?

Throughout the offseason, I’ve assumed the Bills would target a defensive end at No. 10 (Melvin Ingram and Nick Perry have each been matched with Buffalo in my mock draft at various points). But the signing of Williams means the Bills may chose to address another area of concern in the 1st round.

The next most glaring hole is at cornerback, where Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence are both coming off disappointing years. The Bills could potentially fill this hole with Dre Kirkpatrick, the consensus second-best corner in the draft behind Morris Claiborne.

The offensive line is another area which could be addressed. Left tackle Demetrius Bell is a free agent and does not appear headed back to Buffalo. Chris Hairston may step into Bell’s role, but the Bills may still be looking for an upgrade over Erik Pears on the right side. Riley Reiff and Jonathan Martin would both be nice fits at right tackle.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bills Comments Off

Rob Ryan wants Cowboys to upgrade secondary

It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys need to upgrade their secondary, and Rob Ryan wholeheartedly agrees.

Alex Dunlap of the Austin Chronicle caught up with Ryan at the Senior Bowl, and asked the Cowboys defensive coordinator who he was focused on: “I’m only looking at DBs. Nothing else. DBs.”

Dunlap went on to say that Ryan has a particular interest in Leonard Johnson, a cornerback from Iowa State who could be an option in the 2nd or 3rd round.

It’s tough to say just how much say Ryan has in the Cowboys draft plans, but if he’s this blunt about their needs to the media, it’s safe to assume he’s going to be hounding Jerry Jones over the next few months about the issue.

The problem the Cowboys have, however, is that they may be stuck in no-mans land in the 1st round if they hope to address their secondary at that point. Dre Kirkpatrick [scouting report] would be an obvious target, but could be off the board by pick No. 14. There are a number of potential late 1st-round cornerback prospects, but anyone other than Kirkpatrick or Morris Claiborne would be a significant reach unless the Cowboys were to trade back.

There is one other name to keep on eye on, however: Janoris Jenkins [scouting report]. Based purely on talent, Jenkins is a top-15 prosect and would be a great fit in Dallas’ secondary. But most teams will drop him, or completely remove him, from their draft boards due to character issues.

Jerry Jones has shown a willingness to consider troubled-but-talented prospects in the past. He recently drafted Dez Bryant in the 1st round, when many others had dismissed him for off-field issues. And he’s made similar moves in free agency (Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, etc).

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Cowboys 3 Comments

Weekly Draft Notes

- Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was arrested for possession of marijuana this week. It certainly won’t help his draft stock, but I highly doubt the arrest will have a significantly negative impact either. Front office personnel will have plenty of time to investigate Kirkpatrick by talking to his coaches at Alabama and by interviewing him at the combine. This is his only known run-in with the law, so teams should be willing to look past it.

- One of the biggest stars at the East/West Shrine Game this week has reportedly been Coastal Carolina cornerback Josh Norman. I have Norman ranked 16th at cornerback in my recently updated positional rankings, but some believe he could climb much higher. Earlier today, Russ Lande of The Sporting News stated he believed Norman could come off the board in the 2nd round.

- Another riser at the Shrine Game is Missouri Western kicker Greg Zuerline, who I have elevated to the No. 1 spot in the kicker rankings. Zuerline has the best leg of any kicker in this year’s draft, which has teams interested in his services on kickoffs as much as field goals.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Dre Kirkpatrick scouting report

Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama #21
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 190
Strengths:
Impressive height. Good overall size and strength. Elite athleticism; has the speed and quickness to stick with any receiver. An aggressive, physical cornerback. Willing to step up and help out against the run. Does a great job keeping his eyes on the quarterback as much as possible and quickly adjusts to help out when play does not go his direction. A pesky cornerback; not strong enough to really throw anyone off their route, but does just enough to disrupt the play. Appears to really agitate receivers with his style of play.
Weaknesses:
Tackling technique is severely lacking; very rarely wraps up the ball carrier; goes for the big hit almost every time and whiffs fairly often. Fundamentals are shaky; relies on pure athleticism, which will get him into trouble at the next level. Quick to leave his man to aid in run support, making him susceptible to fakes. Needs to become an all-around smarter and more disciplined football player. Academic issues delayed his arrival at Alabama, but has remained eligible through his college career. Arrested for marijuana possession in January, 2012.
Comments:
Kirkpatrick has elite physical tools and has been tremendously productive for one of the nation’s premier college defenses. However, he is still extremely raw and needs to develop his fundamentals in all aspects of the game. His lack of discipline is somewhat concerning considering he plays for a coach (Nick Saban) who is a stickler for smart, controlled play on the field. Has Kirkpatrick been receptive to coaching? It’s a question teams will need to ask of those who worked with him in college.
Videos:
2011 vs Penn State
2011 vs Arkansas
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments