6'2, 186 pounds | Cornerback | Alabama
Ball skills: Finds the ball in the air quickly. Hands are below average. Kirkpatrick will never have a lot of interceptions in a season. Body control to adjust when the ball is in the air is above-average but nothing incredible.
Man coverage: Kirkpatrick is a powerful, physical cornerback who can push wide receivers around at the line of scrimmage. Could easily get up to more than 200 pounds with losing quickness. Possesses the agility and quickness of a much smaller and more compact defensive back. Can turn and run with just about any receiver and keep up. Has quick feet to flip open his hips and mirror vertically. Gave up only one touchdown in 2011, which was reportedly the first of his career.
Size: Excellent height and length for a cornerback. Kirkpatrick is one of the more physically impressive defensive backs in this year's class. Knows how to use his size, especially in man coverage.
Tackling: By far the best tackling cornerback in this year’s class. Hits like a strong safety. Will sometimes go for a kill shot and miss. Will be an asset against the run because he can easily get off blocks.
Zone coverage: Zone coverage will need work after playing mostly man at Alabama. Keeps his balance nicely in his backpedal, which allows him to wait as routes develop so he can break on the ball. Smartly reads the quarterback and not what the receivers are doing. Can get overaggressive at times. Knows when he can gamble when there is safety help over the top.
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.