The Bengals need a cornerback that can replace Johnathan Joseph, who was lost in free agency before the 2011 season, for a long period of time. They may do so in free agency if they're able to acquire a guy like Brandon Carr, but that's not the Bengals' style. The Bengals are more likely to build their team in the upcoming draft than they are signing top-tier free agents.
With two first-round picks in April's draft, most predict the Bengals will grab a cornerback early. This year's cornerback class is deep and there have been quite a few corners to go to the Bengals in different mock drafts from Janoris Jenkins to Brandon Boykin. One guy they may not be interested in anymore, though, is Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick was considered one of the top corners heading into the 2012 NFL Combine, but according to the National Football Post's Dan Pompei, he didn't impress coaches and scouts in interviews and his draft stock has likely dropped, possibly out of the first round.
Representatives from three NFL teams indicated Kirkpatrick did not interview well. One said he did not explain his story well about being arrested on marijuana charges. Another said he came across as difficult to trust.
This is one of many cases in which a player raised his stock or hurt it in the Combine, but it isn't case closed on Kirkpatrick, who still has a pro day to impress teams in a more one-on-one atmosphere. However, for now it seems that Kirkpatrick may have fallen off of the team's radar as guys like Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Boykin helped their stock at the combine.