As of late, I’ve seen some discussion about the Eagles maybe trying to draft a corner in the first round. I’m not sure how seriously they would consider doing that, but of course we never know with them. An option they would have in the first round is Alabama corner Dre Kirkpatrick.
Personally, I’ve always liked corners who have a bit more size and Kirkpatrick fits that bill pretty well at 6-2 and 186 pounds. He’s a bit skinny considering how tall he is but he has the ability to be very physical in press coverage and is a heavy hitter.
I think the reason I prefer bigger corners is because I like corners who can play press coverage. Anytime you can get in a receiver’s face at the line of scrimmage and disrupt their route, you’re going to have some success. Kirkpatrick has plenty of versatility and has shown the ability to play up on a receiver as well as being able to play off and give some cushion.
One of the things that will stand out when you watch Kirkpatrick is the way he hits. Just about every time he takes down a ball carrier, he does it with pop. This is something I personally enjoy at any position, and I think I may like it even better in a corner after years of watching Asante Samuel whiff on tackles.
One thing I didn’t like when watching Kirkpatrick was that he played exclusively on the left side of the ball. Can he play in other areas of the field? I’m not sure, but I like to see corners play particular match-ups and be given the assignment of shutting down a certain receiver no matter where he is on the field.
I think Kirkpatrick has a ton of athletic ability and could be effective in multiple areas of the field, but I’m not sure what his comfort level would be doing this right out of the gate.
However, it’s hard to deny how effective Kirkpatrick was in the way that he was used at Alabama.
Check out this video of Kirkpatrick against Arkansas, via DraftBreakdown.com.
With it seeming like a real certainty that the Eagles will move Samuel, you have to believe that they’d like to find a young, dominant corner to keep in their organization for a long time. The real question is when they want to find that player.
If they do indeed move Samuel, it seems like they’ll want a guy they can plug in as a slot corner out of the game since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has shown he can be really good on the outside but struggles on the inside.
I’m not positive how well Kirkpatrick would fair in the slot. I think he has the ability to be a great corner on the outside at the next level, but that’s a whole different ball game compared to lining up outside.
Although I do think the Eagles would like to add a talented corner in the draft, I feel like it may be more of a target on day two than day one. However, I do really like what I see in Kirkpatrick.