Tall corner with a lanky frame and long arms. Not a great athlete but above average considering his size. Shows adequate fluidity but obviously won’t be as smooth as shorter corners. Has a solid burst that allows him to close quickly. Could stand to add some bulk to his frame but rarely gets out-muscled.
Terrific instincts. Is quick to diagnose plays and plays a step ahead. Masks his lack of elite athleticism. Very quick to recognize the run or short screen plays and attacks so fast blockers can’t stop him. Very aware in coverage, especially in zone. Will bait quarterbacks into underneath throws where he can come up and either break up the pass or lay a big hit short of the 1st. Smarter quarterbacks could play him with their eyes however, so he’ll have to be a little more careful.
Plays a lot of press man at Alabama and shows good fundamentals. Has a strong jam and does a good job of redirecting receivers routes. Will get too aggressive with the jam at times causing him to lose his balance. Not as comfortable playing off man where receivers can get a step on him. Likes to control the receiver by being physical and limiting separation. Can be a bit grabby at times. Will get eaten up by quicker receivers in the NFL if asked to play off his man consistently.
Despite being praised for his skills as a press man corner, he’s best suited playing in a zone scheme in the NFL. His terrific instincts allow him to make a lot of plays in zone. Reads the quarterbacks eyes really well and will leave his man correctly to make a play on the pass. Shows a lot of savvy as a zone defender. Has the burst to close in a hurry and his long arms help him break up a lot of passes when coming downhill.
Great run defender for a corner, probably the best in the draft. Will not shy away from contact and is quick to come up and defend the run. Excellent tackler as he rarely misses, even against bigger players. Reads the run quickly and has no trouble shedding blocks. Packs a punch as a hitter and has laid some big hits throughout his career.
Has solid ball skills and shows the ability to turn and locate the football. Doesn’t always high point the football however and can be a little slow to make the play. Much better at making the play facing the line of scrimmage as opposed to over the top. His long hands are certainly a plus as he can reach around and get his hands on a lot of passes.
A 2 year starter who played behind some solid corners in his early years at Alabama. One of the most physical corners in the draft. Likes to talk a lot on the field and plays with the much needed confidence for the position. Accordingly nicknamed “Swag”. Known as a high character player with a great work ethic. No major injury concerns. Got arrested for marijuana possession one week after declaring for the NFL Draft. May have removed himself from a few teams’ draft boards for being stupid.
I’m a fan of Dre Kirkpatrick because I love physical corners. He’s not afraid to mix it up and plays the run very well. He’s got the size teams love as well but doesn’t mean he’s stiff in the hips as well. I think he’d be best suited playing in a primarily zone scheme or one with a lot of press coverage. He’s not as good when playing off man and could have some trouble with it in the NFL. I think he can be a solid corner, but certainly not a shutdown guy like some are labeling him and will likely never be a top tier guy. However, for a team looking for a smart, hard working corner, who can help out against the run, he makes for a great 1st round pick.