Biography Dre Kirkpatrick Cornerback Alabama #21 Junior
Physical Ability: Dre Kirkpatrick has good physical upper body strength for a cornerback.
Durability: Dre Kirkpatrick may have some injury history during his freshman campaign, but he has been very productive when starting and didn’t need to play as a freshman. He started as a sophomore and didn’t get injured as the teams #1 cornerback.
Kirkpatrick got injured against #1 ranked LSU as a junior. Kirkpatrick played the next week and responded strongly showcasing outstanding toughness and tenacity for a cornerback.
Size: Dre Kirkpatrick is a 6 foot 3 cornerback when it comes to his height. He can weigh anywhere between 195 pounds and 215 pounds.
Learning Rate: Learns new coverage schemes right away.
Football IQ: Watches a lot of film to study routes that wide receivers run.
Awareness: Dre Kirkpatrick has great awareness for a cornerback. He has great instincts and reacts well when dropping back into coverage.
Intangibles: Dre Kirkpatrick has a multitude of different intangibles that cornerbacks need to succeed.
Man Coverage: Kirkpatrick can lock down on wide receivers in man coverage. Kirkpatrick can use his man coverage skills to play the cover 0, cover 1, and cover 2 coverage shells.
Zone Coverage: Kirkpatrick can use his zone coverage to contain a certain area of the field. Kirkpatrick will use his zone coverage ability to play the cover 3 and cover 4 zone coverage shells.
Press Coverage: Kirkpatrick can contain wide receivers and can keep receivers from beating him off the release once the quarterback hikes the football.
Knows the Cover 0 Shell: Kirkpatrick knows the cover 0 shell. The cover 0 shell allows multiple blitz packages. Kirkpatrick is an effective blitzer and hard hitting cornerback.
Knows the Cover 1 Shell: The cover 1 shell has the 2 cornerbacks playing man to man on the wide receivers along with the strong safety playing man to man on the tight end. The free safety lines up in zone coverage waiting for the play to develop.
Knows the Cover 2 Shell: The Cover 2 shell also known as the Tampa 2 lets the safeties play zone while the corners can stop the run, play press, play zone, play man, contain the short pass, contain the medium pass, or contain the deep pass. The possibilities are limitless for the cornerback.
Knows the Cover 3 Shell: The Cover 3 shell has the cornerbacks and free safety play zone coverage while the strong safety stuffs the run and blitzes the quarterback like he is a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Knows the Cover 4 Shell: The Cover 4 shell has everyone playing zone coverage.
Knows the Cover 6 Shell: The Cover 6 shell is a 3-4 defense using a blend of the cover 2 and cover 4 shells. The field corner is the #1 cornerback on the depth chart usually containing the teams #1 receiver by dropping back in zone coverage. The field safety is known as the strong safety who mainly focuses on stuffing the run in run support and blitzing the quarterback. The boundary safety is the free safety they cover the slot receiver in man coverage. The boundary cornerback is the #2 corner they cover the teams secondary receiving option in man to man coverage.
Can be Used as a Field Cornerback: Kirkpatrick can be used as a field cornerback going up against an opponents best receiver. He may have trouble though if the flanker is a primary receiver with great size like Alshon Jeffery.
Can be Used as a Boundary Cornerback: Kirkpatrick can move to a boundary cornerback role if they feel he is not equipped to be a #1 cornerback.
Can be Used as a Nickel Cornerback: Kirkpatrick can play inside on the nickel containing slot receivers.
Hard Hitter: Dre Kirkpatrick is a hard hitting cornerback.
Doesn’t Miss Tackles: Some cornerbacks miss tackles. Dre Kirkpatrick doesn’t miss tackles.
Bump and Run Corner: Can stuff the run as a bump and run cornerback.
Jumping: Dre Kirkpatrick can leap into the air when jumping to make a play.
Hands: Kirkpatrick has the hands to create turnovers.
Patient: Kirkpatrick sat behind Javier Arenas and Kareem Jackson his freshman year. He learned how to improve his patience during that timespan. Kirkpatrick displayed excellent mental discipline his first two seasons at Alabama.
5 Star Recruit Out of High School: Dre Kirkpatrick was a 5 star recruit coming out of high school.
Work Ethic: Its a good thing Kirkpatrick has an outstanding work ethic during Alabama’s practice sessions.
Production: Kirkpatrick provides top notch production for an Alabama cornerback.
Potential: Kirkpatrick has potential to be a Mel Blount type corner, but comparing him to Blount is just an insult to Blount since no one in today’s NFL can lay out hits like Mel Blount.
Has Good Supporting Cast on the Secondary: Dre Kirkpatrick has an excellent supporting cast at Alabama. Alabama has the #1 pass defense. How much of Kirkpatrick’s supporting cast is responsible for Alabama’s pass defense.
Gets beat by a Flanker Wide Receiver: Alshon Jeffery torched Dre Kirkpatrick when South Carolina knocked off Alabama. Kirkpatrick may struggle against the Andre Johnson’s, Calvin Johnson’s, and Larry Fitzgerald’s of the NFL. Even someone like Hines Ward who is more of a #2 wide receiver playing the #1 role could have success against Kirkpatrick.
An opposing flanker receiver usually has great size with a 6 foot 5 230 pound frame or they have killer speed with a 4.4 40 time.
Kirkpatrick struggles greatly against these types of receivers which convinces me that his role as a starting cornerback may be limited.
Speed: Kirkpatrick does not have the speed to keep up with fast receivers despite his 4.4 projected 40 time when watching him on film.
Agility: Kirkpatrick does not have the agility to separate himself from other cornerbacks.
Cannot be Used as a Top Flight Cover Corner: Dre Kirkpatrick is not a top flight cover corner. He struggles against receivers with massive size or receivers with blazing speed off of the snap.
Cannot be Used as a Top Flight Ballhawk Corner: Dre Kirkpatrick is not a top flight ballhawk cornerback who will constantly pad interceptions to his stats sheet.
Boom Or Bust Prospect: Dre Kirkpatrick is a classic boom or bust prospect. There is huge upside with his game that gives you the impression that he is a pro bowler. There are also plays on film where you wonder why his mental discipline has declined so significantly this season after Dre displayed such amazing mental discipline during his first two seasons at Alabama.
Dre will thrive in the right situation where an organization is very good at molding mentally disciplined players. Kirkpatrick could struggle in a place that is not very mentally disciplined.
My thoughts on Dre Kirkpatrick
This might be the best cornerback prospect in a long time in terms of his physical skill set, but he has to have success against #1 wide receivers who are complete like a Calvin Johnson type receiver moving forward.
Kirkpatrick has also struggled against speed receivers. Kirkpatrick will struggle as a nickel corner unless he blitzes because he will not have the speed to contain slot receivers. Kirkpatrick struggles against primary flanker targets with great speed and size.
The best way to ensure Dre Kirkpatrick’s success is to line him up as a boundary corner against a secondary receiving target like Hines Ward, Deion Branch, Malcolm Floyd, Steve Breaston, Donald Driver, or Arrellious Benn.
The fact that Dre Kirkpatrick is kind of limited to a boundary corner role at the next level despite having the experience to be a #1, #2, or #3 cornerback on a depth chart could make his play inconsistent on Sunday’s depending on the receivers he has to match up against.
Dre Kirkpatrick was my #1 cornerback heading into the 2o11-2012 College Football Season. Kirkpatrick is still my #2 ranked cornerback behind Morris Claiborne due to the character concerns of Janoris Jenkins.
Some are suggesting that Dre Kirkpatrick should move inside to free safety due to his coverage. I do not like that idea because A. Kirkpatrick is more of a natural corner who lacks the versatility plus B. Cornerback is Kirkpatrick’s natural position.
Kirkpatrick is an intriguing prospect. He displays the physical discipline to be a pro bowler. Does Dre have the mental discipline that is necessary at the cornerback to make a major impact in the NFL? Dre was very patient at Alabama his first two seasons. His mental discipline has declined a bit in 2011 and has not matched up to par with what we saw from Dre Kirkpatrick during his first two seasons at Alabama.
I don’t think there will be any middle ground with Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick will either become a perennial pro bowler or a player who does not live up to expectations that winds up being an NFL bust. It really comes down to how much Kirkpatrick wants to succeed in the NFL at the end of the day.