Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, the 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Bengals, signed a four-year deal Friday.
At 6-2, 186, Kirkpatrick has the size, arm length and experience to become a rookie start in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's press-cover scheme.
"He has quick feet. He moves his feet laterally pretty well," Zimmer said. He does a great job in bump-and-run. The taller corners have an advantage when they're going down the field, because the ball has to go over the top of their outstretched arms."
Kirkpatrick was an All-American as a junior at Alabama. He'll compete with Nate Clements and Terence Newman for a starting role. Leon Hall, coming back from a ruptured Achilles, is likely to start if he remains ahead of schedule in his recovery.