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Instead of breaking Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins down separately, it would be better to look at them side-by-side. Many would shout that Kirkpatrick would be a far better choice since he's higher on draft boards. However, they're fairly close.
Their speed is about the same. Both run the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4s. Both have good recovery speed and great closing speed.
Kirkpatrick (6'2") is four inches taller than Jenkins. However, Jenkins (182 pounds) has more bulk for his height than Kirkpatrick (192 pounds).
Jenkins has better ball skills. He'll get more interceptions. Jenkins' timing is slightly better. Both are great at winning jump balls.
Kirkpatrick is somewhat better at tackling. He goes in more aggressively for the take down. Jenkins is also a strong tackler, but doesn't always do as good a job as Kirkpatrick does. Both have room for improvement, although Jenkins' ceiling is probably lower due to his size.
Kirkpatrick would be a safer pick since he doesn't have the criminal background that Jenkins does. Kirkpatrick carries with him a reputation as a quiet man who works hard. He communicates well on the field with teammates.
Meanwhile, one can't dismiss Jenkins' work ethic. He always goes hard and looks to make plays. In 2010, Jenkins flexed his toughness by playing through a torn labrum. He went all out in the Senior Bowl to show scouts that he's still a sound talent despite having played his last year at a small program in North Alabama.
Kirkpatrick would be gold if he falls to No. 14, but Jenkins would be a good pick if the former Alabama player isn't around for the Cowboys to take.