With the 17th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Cincinnati's pick matches most of the projections for Kirkpatrick, which tabbed him as one of the top defensive players in a this draft's deep talent pool.
Kirkpatrick had 29 tackles and nine passes defended in 2011 as the top cornerback on the nation's No. 1 pass defense. After starting for three years and picking up two national championships, the first-team All-American junior was expected to have many suitors in this year's draft. He's a shutdown corner with spectacular footwork and great instincts. Kirkpatrick needs to bulk up before being ready for the NFL and may land at safety after turning pro, but has tremendous upside potential at cornerback.
Cincinnati's next pick comes in four picks, at No. 21 overall. In the second round, the Bengals pick at No. 53 overall.
Both teams appear set in the secondary -- especially the Jets -- but the Giants were rumored to have interest in Kirkpatrick. However, he was never expected to fall all the way to No. 32.
Dre Kirkpatrick 2012 NFL Draft Profile (via sbnnfl)
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