CINCINNATI — The Bengals took Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama with the 17th overall pick in the draft on Thursday night, adding to their already bursting collection of first-round cornerbacks.
It marked the third time in the last seven years that Cincinnati chose a cornerback with its top pick. The Bengals also took Johnathan Joseph in 2007 and Leon Hall in 2007, giving themselves one of the league’s best tandems. Joseph left for Houston as a free agent after the 2010 season, and Hall tore an Achilles tendon last year.
Suddenly, it was time to get another one.
And now, they have a total of six cornerbacks who were first-round picks by various teams.
This one came courtesy of the Oakland Raiders, who gave up the 17th overall pick as part of the deal for quarterback Carson Palmer. So far, the deal has worked out much better for the Bengals — Oakland failed to make the playoffs, and Cincinnati was able to replenish its pass coverage.
The Bengals also had their own pick at No. 21. They traded it to New England and moved down to the 27th spot, where they got guard Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin. Cincinnati also got the Patriots’ third-round pick.
They needed an offensive lineman after Nate Livings, their starting left guard each of the last two seasons, went to Dallas as a free agent. Right guard Bobbie Williams broke his right ankle in December and is an unrestricted free agent.
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