Cincinnati Bengals select Dre Kirkpatrick No. 17 in 2012 NFL Draft

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 3: Head coach Nick Saban and defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during pre-game with the Kent State Golden Flashes on September 3, 2011 at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama defeated Kent State 48-7. (Photo by Greg McWilliams/Getty Images)

Much like Kansas City, the Cincinnati Bengals are a team on the come up. Andy Dalton played well for most of his rookie season and wide receiver A.J. Green is a superstar in the making. With guaranteed pieces in place on offense, the Bengals needed to add talent, and there is plenty dropping in this draft.

They're fortunate to strike with a shutdown corner like Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick. Leon Hall is coming back from a serious injury, Pacman Jones can't be relied on and free agent signing Terrance Newman has been picked on throughout his career. Kirkpatrick has the tools and can tackle. If he can be coached up a little, this is a big-time pickup for Cincinnati.

Scouting notes: Kirkpatrick is a powerful, physical cornerback who can push wide receivers around at the line of scrimmage. Finds the ball in the air quickly. By far the best tackling cornerback in this year’s class. Hits like a strong safety. Could easily get up to more than 200 pounds with losing quickness.

For more on the Cincinnati Bengals, check out Cincy Jungle. Get more from SB Nation at their 2012 NFL Draft StoryStream here.

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