The Bengals announced Friday the signing of first-round CB Dre Kirkpatrick.
The 17th overall pick of the draft, Kirkpatrick joins a Bengals team that has injury and age concerns at the cornerback position.
A versatile corner, Kirkpatrick was one of four Alabama players selected in the first round of last month’s draft.
“Dre was the tallest (6-foot-2) of the top corners in the draft, and with all the big receivers in the league right now, we see that as an extra advantage for us,” Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said. “He does a great job at the line of scrimmage. He’s been coached hard with a national championship team, so we really like his pedigree.”
Kirkpatrick’s signing is the earliest by a top Bengals draft pick since 2003, when Cincinnati sealed a deal on April 24 with QB Carson Palmer, the top overall selection in that draft.
“Like Coach (Marvin Lewis) says, 'it’s just great to have this part done,' ” Kirkpatrick said. “I’m happy to officially be a Bengal, and I’m going to be the best player I can be for the team and our fans.”
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