Alabama defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick is expected to draw quite a bit of interest from NFL teams as we head toward the 2012 NFL Draft. Kirkpatrick is expected to be a first-round pick in April, but the questions are just how high will the big defensive back will go and whether he will be selected as a cornerback or a safety. Kirkpatrick is scheduled to make a visit with 10 different teams, according to a report by Aaron Wilson of Scout.com.
Kirkpatrick could realistically find himself with any of these teams in the first round at their original draft position, depending on how other players fall, or as a priority target if a team trades down in the first round.
Former Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, a potential top-10 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, was arrested on Jan. 17 on charges of marijuana possession, five days after he declared he was turning pro. It's hurt his draft stock, of course, as SBNation.com's latest 2012 mock draft has him slipping to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 12 thanks to the great spectre of character concerns.
This might help ease the mind of NFL general manager or two, though:
@SBJLizMullen SBJ Labor & Agents: Brian Overstreet, agent for 'Bama CB Dre Kirkpatrick says he expects drug charges to be dropped soon. #NFLDraft
Kirkpatrick was named a second-team AP All-American in 2011, concluding a college career that began when he arrived in Tuscaloosa as a consensus five-star recruit. Be not surprised if he ends up wowing at the NFL Combine and finds himself picked in single digits after all, as long as he can convince the suits he won't have his name in the news like this again.
A day after news emerged that former Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick had been arrested just after midnight Tuesday in Florida for possessing a small amount of marijuana, more details about the case have come out. Kirkpatrick was a passenger in a rental car driven by former Tide defensive back Chris Rogers, AL.com's Don Kausler, Jr. reports.
Both were released on $120 bond, with court dates set for Feb. 21. According to the report, Kirkpatrick admitted to being present when Rogers purchased drugs, but said he didn't know drugs had been bought. However, police reported that Kirkpatrick was under the influence of drugs at the time.
How this affects his NFL Draft standing remains to be seen, obviously. Last year, Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett saw his stock plummet after questions about his drug use emerged, and there wasn't even an arrest to cite in his case. However, if Kirkpatrick accepts full responsibility and pledges he's learned his lesson, surely some sympathetic NFL general manager will find it in his heart to let one little old drug arrest slide.
As expected, Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson and defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick are leaving school early to enter the 2012 NFL Draft. Both expressed bittersweet emotions about leaving Alabama. Said Richardson on what he and his contemporaries have accomplished in Tuscaloosa:
To have two national championships in three years is pretty big. To only lose four games since we've been here is big.
Richardson is considered a solid first-rounder, which has otherwise been becoming something of a rarity for modern running backs. Kirkpatrick is also expected to go in the first round. In SBNation.com's latest 2012 mock draft, Kirkpatrick went No. 11 to the Seattle Seahawks and Richardson went No. 21 to the Cincinnati Bengals, along with a host of other Bama players going all over the place.
Coach Nick Saban said both players are committed to returning at some point to finish up their degrees. Richardson has previously said he was torn due to how close he was to graduating.