CB Kirkpatrick Could be 'Twins, the Sequel' of Jenkins for the Saints Defense

Saints News Network's weekend guest fan column, compares the 'twin' characteristics of cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris 'Jackrabbit' Jenkins.
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Saints News Network's guest fan column, compares the 'twin characteristics' of free agent Dre Kirkpatrick to former New Orleans cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Marshon Lattimore

WHO BOOKENDS WITH LATTIMORE THIS SEASON?

The complementary cornerback is a position of mild concern for the New Orleans Saints. 

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore is an elite player but had a problematic offseason. 

In March, Lattimore was arrested and faces a fourth-degree felony charge of receiving a stolen handgun. 

The NFL could impose a punishment. 

The Who Dat Nation holds its collective breath.  

Why?  Because Lattimore's highly effective pass defense is essential to the Saints' success.

Yet, who will be on the other side of the field?

Janoris Jenkins intercepts Brady

WILL THE SAINTS MISS JACKRABBIT?

The defensive artist known as ‘Jackrabbit’ was a beautiful bookend to Lattimore.

Janoris Jenkins’ offseason was not dull either. 

On May 5, Jenkins claims his $250,000 2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith was stolen from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport's 'Boneyard' south economy parking lot before catching a flight to Florida. 

Wait, what?  

Who parks a Rolls in an economy lot at Hartsfield unless you like your car covered in a film of jet exhaust?

I digress; let's continue.

Jenkins, who had 55 tackles with 11 assists, has taken his talents to Tennessee. 

Meanwhile, the Saints are debating replacement candidates for Jenkins. 

THE REPLACEMENT CANDIDATES AT CORNER

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The Saints' 2021 third-round pick Paulson Adebo is a 6-1, 190-pound corner still matriculating through rookie orientation after two minicamps.

"Physically, you look at (Adebo), and you can tell he's getting it. He's been explosive so far."

Malcolm Jenkins at Saints Minicamp

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Dre Kirkpatrick visited New Orleans to gauge if mutual interest existed. 

Kirkpatrick did his thing with the Arizona Cardinals.  

In 2020, 'Dr. Dre' had 14 game appearances with 56 tackles, three interceptions, and seven passes defended. 

Curious?  How does he compare to Jackrabbit?

✔ Jenkins is 5’10 194 and ran a 4.4

✔ Kirkpatrick is 6’2, 190 and ran a 4.53

Good speed.

In 2016, Jenkins signed a five-year, $62 million deal with the New York Giants and made the Pro Bowl.

In 2017, the Bengals signed Kirkpatrick to a five-year, $52.5 million contract extension. He returned an interception for 101 yards and had four tackles for losses.

✔ Jenkins is 32 years old (October 29)

✔ Kirkpatrick is 31 (October 26)

Okay, close in age.

✔ Jenkins: Florida

✔ Kirkpatrick: Alabama

Good athletes from the South.

In 2019, Dre Kirkpatrick allowed a reception just once every 16.3 snaps in coverage – the 9th-best rate in the league. In 2020, playing with Arizona, opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of only 80.1 when targeting Kirkpatrick. 

When targeted last season, Jenkins allowed three scores and had a stingy 58.8 percent completion rate and a QB rating of 81.8. Reread the previous paragraph. 

Bottom line. The Saints could not compete with the two-year $15 million deal ($7.5 million guaranteed) that Tennessee could offer Jackrabbit. 

Nothing personal. It’s strictly business.

✔ Long braids for each man. 

Check!

There is an uncanny similarity to this potential cornerback swap meet. Cornerbacks who are effective in coverage and who also wrap up and tackle make defensive coordinators smile. 

The Saints did not make Kirkpatrick an offer he could not refuse.  

Stay tuned. 

Article by Mark Lassiter - Guest Fan Columnist of the Saints News Network


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