'Bama corner just can't be beat

Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (left) breaks up a pass intended for Auburn wide receiver Emory...

Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (left) breaks up a pass intended for Auburn wide receiver Emory Blake during their NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala., Nov. 26, 2011. (TAMI CHAPPELL/Reuters)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:53 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - Wait a minute, the first ever?

The touchdown pass that University of Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick gave up last fall against Florida was the first one he'd ever allowed? Ever?

"First ever," Kirkpatrick told NFL reporters Sunday afternoon.

In your life?!

"In my life."

And Kirkpatrick has been playing cornerback since he was in Grade 8. He's a likely first-round pick who's rated by the NFL Network's Mike Mayock as the second-best corner prospect this year.

Kirkpatrick said he occasionally did get beat in practice, but he attributed it to coach Nick Saban's rotating in of fresh wide receivers after every play.

"We used to get mad (at Saban)," Kirkpatrick said. "We'd be out there, kind of tired. So you'd give up one or two, but they were just preparing you for the game."

Seems to have worked.

EXTRA POINTS

There are several potential first-round draftees who have had run-ins with the law, or other off-field issues, such as Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd and North Alabama corner Janoris Jenkins. Mayock told reporters Sunday that these players all tell NFL teams essentially the same thing: "I've grown up; I'm sorry." While some teams "convince themselves" these players have changed, others have removed some of these players from their draft boards ... Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill "killed it" in skill drills Sunday, Mayock said. "I had a bunch of scouts tell me before the Combine tell me that this kid might blow the roof off it, and he did." Hill ran a 4.36 in the 40, the fastest time of the day. He broad-jumped 11-foot-1, and leapt "out of the gym" in the vertical jump. He also was sure-handed during catching drills, Mayock said. The big question about Hill is that he played in an option offence in college and, thus, didn't run sophisticated NFL-style pass routes. "From a football perspective, every team in the league now has a lot of homework to do. He's a hard guy to figure out," Mayock said ... Here's something not coming soon to an NCAA public-service announcement. Highly regarded defensive end Quinton Coples said the following, after being asked how playing on the scandal-plagued North Carolina football team helped prepare him for the NFL: "It just taught me how to be a professional." Ummm, yeah ... Top-ranked cornerback Morris Claiborne of LSU is a former wide receiver, who said it took a while to get comfortable on defence. Presumably the experience on offence helped him to get inside the heads of wideouts, because as the best cover corner in the draft he has a knack of getting inside their jerseys.


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