Dre Kirkpatrick

Dre Kirkpatrick makes Bengals debut

Cincinnati Bengals 1st-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick took the field for the first time on Monday afternoon. He had been recovering from a left knee injury suffered during June minicamps.

The Bengals are fairly deep at cornerback, so there’s no need for them to rush Kirkpatrick into action. As a result, he will sit out Thursday’s preseason game against the Packers but is expected to appear in the final preseason game on Friday, August 31.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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