Kirkpatrick was the 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft but suffered through something of a lost season, as a knee injury and concussion limited him to only five games of part-time duty. With the knee problems in the rear view mirror the door is open for Kirkpatrick to flash the physical cover skills that made him so highly rated coming out of Alabama.
Newman, Jones, and Clements will all be on the wrong side of 30 by October 1 of this year. The addition of Kirkpatrick in 2013 will be almost like having an additional first round pick, as the Bengals received so little from him last year that it will be like adding an entirely new player to the roster. With the 21st and 37th (thanks Raiders!) overall selections in this year’s draft, along with the “addition” of Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati has yet another great opportunity to add an influx of talent that will help the Bengals contend in the always tough AFC North.