Friday, April 6, 2012

Kirkpatrick Visits Vikings

Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick visited Winter Park today.  There is no chance the Vikings will be selecting him with the third overall pick, but he could be a target if they were to trade down.

 Fitzpatrick was a five-star prospect coming out of high-school and on talent alone is considered a top 15 pick.  But inconsistent play and off-field issues have stigmatized the tall, lanky corner and he is one of those prospects that is difficult to get a read on where he might go in the draft.  Albeit it would be difficult to imagine him slipping out of the first-round, I think that there is a pretty good chance he falls out of the top 20 picks.  With South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore seemingly having passed him on draft boards, Detroit with the 23rd pick might be Fitzpatrick's safety net. 

Fitzpatrick is probably the best tackler at the corner position in this year's draft, but he lacks instincts and playmaking ability when the ball is in the air.  He also has a reputation for falling asleep in coverage at times and lacks a consistent motor.  Additionally, Fitzpatrick was arrested on possession of marijauna the day after he made his intentions known that he would be entering the draft as a junior. The charge was eventually dismissed when a friend admitted that the weed belonged to him (or so it went anyway).  Be that as it may, the incident is reflective of Fitzpatrick's questionable decision-making over the years.  It having been  rumored that he did not interview well with teams at the NFL Combine in February, but having had a very good workout for scouts and league personnel at Alabama's pro day, Fitzpatrick has been one of the more popular invites to practice facilities throughout the league as teams try to do their due diligence on him as a prospect.

He looks the perfect corner candidate for a cover-2 defense, but the Vikings can ill afford to roll the dice on yet another defensive back with character issues.  In all likelihood, it will not become an issue as the Vikings would only consider him if they traded down into the middle of the first-round.

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