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Dre Kirkpatrick Has His Sights Set On A Starting Role

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May 11, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick corner back Dre Kirkpatrick (27) works out during mini camp at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
May 11, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick corner back Dre Kirkpatrick (27) works out during mini camp at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Even though the Cincinnati Bengals signed three cornerbacks in free agency, the general consensus was that the team still needed to invest a high draft pick in the position. At No.17 overall, the team selected Alabama cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick as one of the team's cornerbacks of the future. Even though the position group is crowded, injuries, age, and a high draft designation seemingly give Kirkpatrick the inside track on one of the starting positions.

And, according to CBSSports' Paul Dehner, Jr., Kirkpatrick realizes the opportunity.

First-round CB Dre Kirkpatrick comes into a crowded cornerback position filled with five veterans and two incumbent starters (Leon Hall, Nate Clements), but wasn't timid about his desire for the 2012 season. He said his goal is to start. "The expectations are high," he said. "Everybody is looking at you to come out here and succeed and be successful."

It's to to see that Kirkpatrick realizes the pressure that comes with being a first-round pick. With last year's combination of Johnathan Joseph's departure and Leon Hall's injury, the team will be relying on Kirkpatrick to contribute heavily. Even though he's got a lot of high-profile competition, Kirkpatrick sounds like he's up to the challenge. Let's hope that these roster battles will push players to perform their best.