A pair of former first-round NFL Draft picks have been two of the biggest highlights in Bengals training camp thus far, but their paths to this point have been vastly different. Dre Kirkpatrick was thought to be the jewel of the 2012 NFL Draft, but the former Alabama All-American suffered a broken knee before training camp last year, and a stint on the Physically Unable to Perform List, Kirk made his NFL debut against the Denver Broncos in Week 9.
After suffering a concussion vs.the San Diego Chargers, Kirkpatrick was placed on the Injured Reserve list, and his rookie campaign became a lost season. As camp opened this week, Kirkpatrick was present for the first practice, and already is catching the eye of Joe Reedy:
For the second day in a row, Dre Kirkpatrick earned a pass break up on a deep ball down the sidelines. This ball, underthrown by Josh Johnson and intended for Cobi Hamilton, allowed Kirkpatrick to leap and shut down the jump ball.
Asked about Kirkpatrick at Tuesday’s pre-camp luncheon, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said this:
“I feel very confident about him. He’s a great competitor. He’s learning. He’s another one of those guys who when he came in here he thought the world revolved around him a little bit. I think he’s finally woke up. I think he’s come a long way. We’ll see what he does on the field.”