TUSCALOOSA AL - SEPTEMBER 11: Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide attempts to gain control of a fumble against quarterback Robert Bolden #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ESPN Insider writer K.C. Joyner evaluates talent through less-than-typical means compared to draftniks, using proprietary metrics from game study, earning himself the a nickname of "The Football Scientist". Whatever. Joyner compiles a list of the top-five most overvalued prospects (In$ider) heading into the 2012 NFL draft. Two prospects that we suspect Cincinnati could be interested in, based on their needs, level of interest (did a player reportedly visit), are Notre Dame's Michael Floyd and Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick (as an honorable mention).
Joyner writes of Floyd:
Floyd's 2011 season was not just disappointing -- it was downright abysmal when compared to the other top wide receiver prospects. Floyd ranked dead last in YPA, vertical YPA and stretch vertical YPA in the aforementioned top 10 wide receiver draft prospects article. (Note: Stretch vertical passes are those aerials thrown 20 or more yards downfield.)
To be fair, some of his metric woes can be placed on the shoulders of the Fighting Irish's inconsistent quarterback play, but that same claim could be made by LSU wideout Rueben Randle, and it didn't prevent him from posting dominant YPA totals. Randle isn't the only one to make this claim, as Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and South Carolina Gamecocks wideout Alshon Jeffery also played on struggling offenses and yet still had YPA totals higher than Floyd's. Simply put, Floyd did less to overcome subpar circumstances than any other top WR prospect.
Writing of Dre Kirkpatrick:
He played on the best defense in college football last season and still managed to post a middle-of-the-road 6.6 YPA against the seven strongest pass offenses the Crimson Tide faced.