Dallas Cowboys Potential 2012 Draft Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
My scouting report on Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is up at the Times. I have been saying for awhile that I will have Kirkpatrick and LSU’s Morris Claiborne (scouting report here) rated more as 1A and 1B than 1 and 2, and that’s still true after watching more of Kirkpatrick. By the way, I will have my first position rankings out soon.
Here is a clip from my Kirkpatrick scouting report:
At 6-2 and 186 pounds, Dre Kirkpatrick (#21) has ideal length. He uses this to his advantage in press coverage, extending at the line of scrimmage to disrupt receivers’ routes. He doesn’t have elite speed (4.51 40-yard dash), so he needs to maximize the use of his long body.
As you might expect, Kirkpatrick excels in zone coverage. Actually, he’s the best zone coverage cornerback I have seen in a few years (even superior to Claiborne). At the 16-second and 1:37 marks in the video below, you can see him come off his zone responsibility quite well. He does this multiple times a game, reading the quarterback as well as any prospect in the draft.
For the Cowboys, Kirkpatrick will represent a major decision. There’s a good chance that choice will be made far easier if the team signs a veteran cornerback in free agency, but if not, it will be difficult to pass on a talented player at a major position of need. In terms of pure talent, Kirkpatrick is probably a top 10 guy.
Kirkpatrick has character concerns, though, and he doesn’t fit in as one of Jason Garrett’s “prototypical” players. On top of that, Kirkpatrick’s man coverage skills are not of first-round quality, but cornerbacks in Rob Ryan’s scheme are asked to play a whole lot of it. Great player, but potentially a poor fit. Read the rest of my thoughts on Dre Kirkpatrick here.
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