NFL Draft 2012: Is Dre Kirkpatrick A Possibility For The Arizona Cardinals?

Yesterday's poll on whether or not the Arizona Cardinals should draft Luke Kuechly was fairly lopsided. 64% of you said that the Cardinals should entertain the idea of bringing him aboard to pair him with the superstar in the making, Daryl Washington. He could even play in a backup role for a year or two behind Paris Lenon. Although inside linebacker is not a huge position of need, I think this would be a solid move for Arizona.

Speaking of positions that are not in high demand for the Cardinals, the team seems to be pretty well stocked at cornerback. Patrick Peterson and A.J. Jefferson are a year wiser, Greg Toler is returning from injury and newcomer William Gay should help, too. But what about drafting another cornerback in the first round? Specifically, how about Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama? Would he be a good fit for the team?

Kirkpatrick has long been considered one of the best cornerbacks to be entering the 2012 NFL Draft. Behind Morris Claiborne, he very well could be the best option at that position.

At 6'1" and 186 pounds, Kirkpatrick is extremely athletic and has drawn some comparisons to Asante Samuel for his ability to play well in the zone coverage. In fact, many believe that he could transfer to safety because of his strengths in the zone.

At the NFL Combine, Kirkpatrick ran a 4.51 second 40-yard dash, he had a 35" vertical and his broad jump was 120 inches.

Scouts say that he has such great athleticism that he could fair well in single-man coverage in the NFL. However, there are some weaknesses to his game. His tackling skills are not all that great and he is quite skinny and could struggle against the run. Here are some more notes from NFL.com:

Kirkpatrick has issues that surround all aspects of his prospects and overall value as he enters the draft. He is very thin and some will question his ability to play physically at the next level. Although he has always been advertised as a cornerback, his size and athletic ability could encourage a transition to safety. It remains to be seen if Kirkpatrick can add weight to compete at that position after three years at Alabama where his physical development was minimal.

The Cardinals went through this experience a player that was somewhat similar in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

On top of all those weaknesses, Kirkpatrick was arrested back in January for marijuana possession. Character concerns like that are not something a player wants hanging over them entering the draft. The Cardinals also tend to shy away from players with these types of issues.

Here is a nice highlight reel of what Kirkpatrick could potentially do for a team when he gets drafted:

I know the Cardinals are pretty set at cornerback, especially after taking Peterson in the first-round last season, but what if Kirkpatrick is the best player available on their board by the time they pick? Would you be satisfied with them selecting him? Tell us what you think and vote in the poll.

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