May 122012
 

 

Cornerback/Safety

Alabama

6-2 186

Draft board overall prospect rank: #26

Draft board overall cornerback rank: #3

Overall rating: 82 (Borderline 1st/2nd round prospect)

40 time: 4.46

Games watched: Alabama/FloridaAlabama/VanderbiltAlabama/TennesseeLSU/AlabamaAlabama/Auburn, Alabama/LSU (Part 2) 

Positives

·         Rare size for a cornerback (6-2)

·         Great 40 time for his size (4.46)

·         Long and rangy

·         Great athleticism

·         Great leaping ability

·         Excellent straight line speed

·         Physical in coverage

·         Above average against the run

·         Not afraid to get physical with the ball carrier

·         Powerful hitter

·         Shut down most receivers he played this season (Rueben Randle combined for 5 catches for 32 yards in 2 games against him)

·         Can run deep with any receiver

·         Uses his hands well

·         Well coached

·         Was often thrown away from last season

·         Excellent closing speed 

Negatives

·         Stiff hips

·         Lacks explosion

·         Can get blown off the line of scrimmage

·         Takes a while to get into full speed

·         Not great change of direction

·         Doesn’t play as fast as his 40 time

·         Can get burned by speed receivers

·         No interceptions in 2011 (only 3 in 2010)

·         Minimal ball skills

·         Short arms for his height (could contribute to poor ball skills)

·         Off the field problems

·         Didn’t interview well

·         A bit thin (6-2 186)

·         Goes for the big hit over the safe tackle

·         Struggles with man press

NFL Comparison: Antonio Cromartie

Like Antonio Cromartie, Dre Kirkpatrick has elite athleticism, speed, and size at the cornerback position. Cromartie is 6-3 and he’s one of the few cornerbacks in the NFL any taller than 6-1 or 6-2. Kirkpatrick was listed at 6-3 at Alabama and measured in at slightly over 6-2 at The Combine. He also showed good 4.4 speed.

At his top speed, Kirkpatrick is one of the fastest cornerbacks and he has the ability to run with any wide receiver. Cromartie is the same way, but like Cromartie, Kirkpatrick takes a bit to get up to full speed. He doesn’t have elite explosion and can get blown off the line of scrimmage by faster, quicker receivers. He also doesn’t have elite change of direction or hip fluidity and struggles with quicker receivers for this reason too. Another comparison is Dominique Rodgers Cromartie. Both of the Cromarties have games similar to Kirkpatrick’s. In fact, Kirkpatrick might be a long lost Cromartie (you never know with that family).

Like the Cromarties, Kirkpatrick is at his best lined up in deep zone or man off the line of scrimmage. He’s not going to come up and bump and run very well because he’ll just be blown past, but if you give him some room to work with, very few receivers can run past him and he’s got excellent closing speed to come in and bust up short completions either with a tackle for a short gain or a drop after a big hit. He did very well against Reuben Randle in their two matchups this season and that’s the type of player he can absolutely dominate. Randle’s height is not an advantage against the 6-2 Kirkpatrick and he doesn’t have the elite speed to burn him.

There’s also the off the field problems with Kirkpatrick. He was arrested for marijuana possession earlier this year and while that’s not a huge concern, teams didn’t like how he handled it in interviews and didn’t feel they could trust him. That could land him in the 20s. Tennessee, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Denver are all options for him in the 20-25 pick range. I have a late first round grade on him all things considered. He has elite athleticism, but such a specific skill set and off the field problems that he falls into the late first round. I also have a late first round grade on him for this reason.

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