Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was arrested on charges of marijuana possession, according to Big Lead Sports.
Kirkpatrick recently declared his intention to enter the 2012 NFL draft. He was expected to be one of the first corners off the board and a possible top-10 selection.
What It Means
Kirkpatrick will now be subject to more character questions during the draft process. He had a pretty clean track record before this alleged incident but, with the NFL coming down hard on those with off-field problems, teams will need to take a longer look at him before committing.
The Crimson Tide star has been battling LSU corner Morris Claiborne to be the class’ top player at the position, and this report obviously doesn’t do him any favors.
While everybody makes mistakes, you also have to question Kirkpatrick’s judgment if the report turns out to be true. The next three months will be the most important stretch of his football career so far and to risk getting caught in a situation like this makes you wonder what he was thinking.
There’s no reason to put his draft stock, and potentially millions of dollars, at stake. It’s one of several concerns NFL teams will raise during individual interviews, so he’ll need to make sure he’s ready to explain his actions.
First and foremost everybody needs to wait for more details to emerge about the situation. Kirkpatrick should get a chance to tell his side of the story about the apparent arrest if he wishes to go that route. Otherwise it’s his duty to prove that this was an isolated incident.
After that he needs to continue his preparations for the draft. It would be a setback to be sure, but not one that’s impossible to come back from. Staying out of trouble will be paramount because he needs to avoid a troublesome trend from developing.
Kirkpatrick has a boatload of talent with the potential to become a game-changer for whichever team drafts him, so he’s going to get a chance to make amends.
Hopefully he uses the entire ordeal as a learning experience. That’s really all you can ask from a young athlete because he can’t go back and change anything now. Everybody has suffered from poor judgment; not repeating those decisions is the key.