A cornerback with a short memory and the ability to quickly forget a bad play is what you want in an NFL corner.
A cornerback with an attitude, as Dre Kirkpatrick certainly has, can be a blessing or a curse. While Kirkpatrick is aggressive and unafraid to mix it up with receivers at the line of scrimmage, he is also prone to big misses and tends to lose focus with alarming regularity.
The 6'1", 186-pound former member of the Crimson Tide can be a good addition to an NFL secondary, but he needs to take to his coaching, keep his head down, work on his technique and focus on playing within the scheme rather than succumbing to the temptation to freelance.
What the Experts Are Saying:
Athletes like Kirkpatrick are able to defy the perception that taller skill players don't have the footwork and agility that shorter players do. Kirkpatrick will thrive initially within a zone scheme, where he can use his burst and length to cover ground and remain active. He is so talented athletically that he could likely be tested early on an island in man coverage and excel, and he possesses the confidence and field presence necessary to take on such a task.
Has short arms and is extremely lean. Modest overall career production. Lacks elite speed to carry receivers vertically. Freelances too much and lacks discipline. Can do a better job coming to balance in space — overruns the ball and arrives out of control. Average recovery burst. Gave up two TDs against Arkansas. Has only three career interceptions. Not dependable. Has identity and entitlement issues. Can be lured by the trappings of the game and easily distracted. Will need to be managed closely. Has been injury-prone and body is not built to withstand contact — long-term durability could be an issue. Average Combine workout and interviews.
Kirkpatrick should be able to step in and take on a nickel corner role from the start. With some work and a patient coaching staff, he should be a starter within a year.
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