Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (27) during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
When the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Dre Kirkpatrick, a hard-hitting defensive back out of Alabama, immediate speculation began that the team could move him to safety, given it was a position of greater need in 2012, and still appeared to be entering 2013. That, and the brief glimpses of Kirkpatrick playing cornerback at the NFL level were average at-best, as injuries plagued his entire rookie campaign, and he entered 2013 essentially a rookie in terms of experience.
But he’s worked hard to become a solid contributor on a to a defense ranked seventh in the NFL, and that was evident Sunday when he made a game-changing interception. Slowly but surely, he’s beginning to like an NFL cornerback the Bengals can count on to not be a weakness on this team as he’s groomed to become a starter in the future.