Dre Kirkpatrick Scouting Report | 2012 NFL Draft
Player Name: Dre Kirkpatrick
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Dre Kirkpatrick will be entering the 2012 NFL Draft after helping the Crimson Tide win the National Championship during his junior season. A key cog in that incredibly stingy Alabama defense, Kirkpatrick played in every game during his three-year college career, and will likely be one of the first defensive backs off the draft board come April.
Kirkpatrick is well above average height for a corner, listed at 6’2″, and has great athleticism that helps him stick with any opposing receiver.
He’s extremely aggressive and physical, and is more than willing to step up and assist against the run. Good, quick hips make it easy for him to turn and run in coverage.
His good instincts allow him to quickly read and react to what’s happening in front of him. Teams would eventually just opt against throwing anywhere near him.
Kirkpatrick is far from what you’d call a “sure tackler.” He’ll often go for the big hit instead of wrapping up, which gets him burned from time-t0-time. His basic fundamentals could also use some fine-tuning.
He’ll sometimes be too eager to step up and help against the run, leaving his man too early, and, as a result, is susceptible to fakes. Kirkpatrick will also likely need to add some bulk to his thin frame before stepping foot on an NFL field. He may struggle against some of the bigger, stronger wideouts (eg: Alshon Jeffery).
He was also arrested for marijuana possession in January of 2012, which, obviously, raises some character concerns.
Kirkpatrick’s rare combination of size and athleticism for a cornerback will ultimately be what gets him drafted in the first round.
He does have a ways to go in terms of becoming a more disciplined player, and his overall skills are still fairly raw and underdeveloped.
Assuming the marijuana arrest was more of a hiccup than something that becomes a trend, there’s no real reason to believe that Kirkpatrick can’t become one of the NFL’s elite corners.
NFL Comparison: Antonio Cromartie