What To Expect From Bengals' Rookies In 2012

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NFL draft pundits have touted the Bengals 2012 draft class as arguably the best draft in the entire league. The praise ran far beyond what any Bengals fan could have predicted this past April. Looking at the ten players the Bengals selected, and how they have performed so far during OTA’s, we can begin to speculate how each player will fit into the Bengals system and how they should perform this year. Let’s take a look at each player starting from the first selection.

May 11, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick corner back Dre Kirkpatrick (27) works out during mini camp at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Round 1, Pick 17 – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Kirkpatrick has a great skill set and is a very physical player. He can play press-man coverage very well, but lacks some fundamentals in zone coverage. He will need to improve his instincts in zone coverage to be a complete enough corner to play every down. Kirkpatrick will most likely start out as a nickel corner or dime corner as he feels his way into new coverages, schemes, and pace of the NFL. I do feel, however, that at some point later in the season, he may find a starting role opposite Leon Hall. Kirkpatrick should have a solid rookie season compared to what is normally expected from a rookie cornerback, and should help out a secondary that badly needed an infusion of youth along with the veterans already holding roster spots.

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Tags: AFC North Bengals Brandon Thompson Dan Herron Devon Still Dre Kirkpatrick George Iloka Kevin Zeitler Marvin Jones Mohamed Sanu NFL NFL Draft NFL Draft Orson Charles Shaun Prater