The Bengals used the 17th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick, but if you ask the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy, Kirkpatrick won’t open the season as the starter. The Bengals have plenty of veteran cornerbacks, including Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Jason Allen, Pacman Jones, and Terence Newman, but needed Kirkpatrick to provide youth.
Reedy predicts Hall and Clements as the starters, which, of course, is only possibly if Hall is able to play week 1 after tearing his Achilles last November. He’s no sure thing for week 1 and if he can’t go, Kirkpatrick may be forced to start. As for Clements, this report is good news as there was some speculation that the 32 year old would be released so the Bengals could avoid paying him 4.3 million this season. The Bengals still almost have to cut one or two veteran cornerbacks to make room for their two rookies, Kirkpatrick and 5th rounder Shaun Prater, who will be purely a special teamer as a rookie.