With the 17th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Dre Kirkpatrick, cornerback from the University of Alabama. Kirkpatrick is a terrific player, with superior height and speed and excellent tackling ability. The Bengals were in dire need of a cornerback and Kirkpatrick may have been the best one available. He was a star at Alabama and was arguably the best player on their defense, even though Mark Barron was selected higher. He will line up across from Leon Hall to give the Bengals two excellent corners.
The Raiders are also rebuilding their secondary and could have used a player of Kirkpatrick's ability. However, the Carson Palmer trade gave the Bengals a number of picks, including this one. Time will tell whether the trade holds up as a wise one, although general wisdom suggests a franchise QB is more valuable than even the finest cornerback. Since the Raiders signed two good corners in free agency, that seems like less of a need at this point, making the trade good from the Raiders perspective and potentially excellent from the Bengals', as least at this point. Kirkpatrick will help the Bengals contend in the AFC North against the likes of Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger, while Carson Palmer keeps the Raiders from having to start a journeyman quarterback.