The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Dallas Cowboys Potential 2012 Draft Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

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Jonathan Bales

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.

Previous Scouting Reports

Michael Brockers, DT/DE, LSU

Devon Still, DT/DE, Penn State

Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

David DeCastro, G, Stanford

Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida/North Alabama

Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia

Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

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3 Responses to Dallas Cowboys Potential 2012 Draft Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

  1. Derek says:

    What’s the point in having a taller corner who can’t play the deep ball or play man coverage? I’m worried about his short arms, too. He does play zone well; he comes out of his responsibilities well, but a first round pick should play man and zone well.

    To me, Kirkpatrick is not a top tier corner. Only Claiborne and Jenkins are that. I’d rather the Cowboys draft the safeties Smith or Barron in the first round over any corner but those two. Jenkins would be absolutely lethal in Ryan’s scheme. He plays man extremely well, and he blitzes well, too.

    I really just don’t see what you see in Kirkpatrick.

  2. john coleman says:

    Derek- I like your thought process and noticed that Kirkpatrick does in fact have short arms. Also as you mentioned his long speed will effect him covering deep. I too agree he is overhyped and is not a top tier corner.

    I honestly think that Jenkins is the best technical CB in the draft. Yes, even better than Claiborne. So don’t be surprised when he goes higher than expected.

    All of the Bama players are risky because of the system they played in. NFL systewm and coaching against college players could leave little upside. I like Barron and Hightower better than Upshaw or Kirkpatrick.

  3. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a 1st round worthy safety since Earl Thomas. And, at the time, he was unreachable by Dallas. I don’t advocate reaching for Barron or Smith (Smith to me is actually a 3rd round type of guy).

    When investigating options, Dallas needs to take the approach of who can help them get better in pass coverage – not who’s the best player to draft. Their best opportunity for help is actually in FA w/ Carr or a S prospect. Barron would be nice, but not at 14, and he’ll be gone by the 40s. So, if they REALLY like Barron, they need to either trade down or trade up – neither of which I’d advise.

    Bes course of action for Dallas, stay away from anyone of the CB or S type in the 1st round UNLESS they really think Janoris Jenkins is worth it.

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