With the 17th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick is rated as the second-best prospect at his position behind only former LSU Tigers defensive back Morris Claiborne, and ranks as the No. 14 player overall, according to Mocking The Draft's rankings.
Dan Kadar admits that Kirkpatrick still needs some work on his ball skills and zone coverage. The cornerback brings unmatched physicality to the position, however, as well as a 6-foot-2-inch, 186-pound frame that has scouts drooling.
Final word: Kirkpatrick got off to a bit of a rough start to his junior season, but quickly rebounded, especially in an excellent game against Arkansas. Evaluations of Kirkpatrick naturally begin with his size. He's arguably the physically impressive cornerback in this year's draft. He's tall with long arms and a frame to get stronger.
Kirkpatrick is a player who knows how to use his size to his advantage, especially in man coverage. He's a little less experienced in true zone coverage. But with his natural talent and on-field intelligence, he should be able to adapt to any scheme.
For more on Kirkpatrick, be sure to check out the SB Nation blog Roll 'Bama Roll. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, please visit Mocking the Draft. Also be sure to check out Kirkpatrick's draft profile via SBN's YouTube Channel below.