Not very often does a player who appeared in just five games and has two tackles to his name make noise in the NFL offseason. However, with Dre Kirkpatrick entering his second-year with the Cincinnati Bengals the team is already expecting big things from last years 17th pick overall.
The Bengals had the sixth ranked defense last year, however two of their corners are unrestricted free agents and that may open the door for Kirkpatrick. Terrance Newman and Adam Jones both had great seasons for Cincy in 2012 and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer would love to have them back.
Zimmer had this to say about the situation in his secondary “ I’d like to have them back but that doesn’t mean Kirkpatrick isn’t better than all of them. He could be the guy that’s playing.”
It’s a shame that knee injuries and a concussion forced the former Alabama Crimson Tide corner to miss all but 43 snaps in his rookie campaign. This time last year Kirkpatrick was drawing rave reviews from the NFL Scouting Combine with a ’4.51′ 40-yard-dash time and a body that seemed perfectly suited for the rigors of a full NFL season.
Oddly enough Kirkpatrick had no such luck and was bit hard by the injury bug and underwent surgery on his knee to aid him in becoming the Bengals first shut-down corner since Jonathan Joseph left for the Houston Texans just two offseasons ago. Zimmer will continue to look for help in the secondary and if Newman and Jones both head elsewhere Kirkpatrick will find himself with a heavy load in just his sophomore season.