Kirkpatrick is one of the most in-tune cornerback prospects. He seems to know what the quarterback is doing before the quarterback does. This stems from his aggressive nature. He plays the majority of the snaps from the left cornerback position and reacts with quick instincts. Dre almost constantly looks into the backfield to recognize what the quarterback is going to do. This allows him to sniff out screens, runs, etc as soon as the ball leaves the quarterback’s hands.
He attacks the ball carrier as soon as he realizes where the play is going and uses his 6’2 frame to bring the wood. He’s a heavy hitter that strategically places his hits to force turnovers of devastating blows. Normally players that go for the punishing hits aren’t always the most sure handed tacklers but this is not the case with Kirkpatrick. He routinely makes open tackles throughout the games. He’s at his best when he’s in zone assignments and he comes off his man to make a play quicker than any other prospect.
Whether in zone or off man, he loves to bait in the quarterback to throw when he thinks Dre is too far away to make a break on the ball. Kirkpatrick can make these signal callers pay for this as he shows a quick break for the ball.
Dre doesn’t have the best technique / feet and this causes him to miss in press coverage and also give separation during routes. He also shows a tendency to stand flat footed while looking into the backfield and react after the receivers cut. Due to the defense he played in, it didn’t cost him much in college but it’ll affect him at the next level.
Kirkpatrick doesn’t track the ball well and takes bad angles which causes him to give up receptions even when he’s able to stay tight in coverage. Dre benefited from playing with a safety like Mark Barron behind him and became too dependant upon him. Barron’s ability to cover so much ground, aloud Kirkpatick to play with his aggressive nature. That same aggressive nature will cost him in the NFL as he will bite on more double moves than most and expect someone else on the defense to bail him out.
Playing on Alabama’s talented defense may have spoiled him and he’ll find out that it doesn’t work that way in the NFL. Teams that were turned off by Janoris Jenkins’ arrests for marijuana charges in the past few years couldn’t be too happy with Kirkpatrick’s arrest in January.
- CB/S, Alabama
- Ht: 6’2
- Wt: 190
- 40 time: 4.45
Kirkpatrick is intriguing because he has such unique size and speed. It’s easy to see where a team could fall for what Kirkpatrick does well and over draft on him and hope to change his nature. To draft wisely with Dre Kirkpatrick in mind, then the team that drafts him should plan on running a lot of zone coverage.
He’ll struggle if a team takes him and tries to use him in a lot of man situations. Another option would be to shift him to safety and take advantage of his read and react ability and straight line speed. They can also play him a lot in the box against the run as he excels in this as well.
More 2012 NFL Draft Profiles
- More NFL Coverage
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock