Is Dre Kirkpatrick the next Champ Bailey?

Updated: September 11, 2008, 2:41 PM ET

Throwing to Dre Kirkpatrick's side of the field is about as foolish as the whole Brett Favre fiasco. But for some reason or another, quarterbacks still occasionally try to test the Gadsden City (Gadsden, Ala.) senior cornerback. Not surprisingly, they've been burned nearly every time. Rated the nation's No. 1 defensive back in the ESPNU 150, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder strikes fear into passing attacks because of his combination of size, speed and technical skills. And each time he intercepts the ball, he's a threat to take it to the house. Last season, he tallied 56 tackles and six picks on defense, returned a punt for a score and also added a touchdown catch at receiver. At press time, he was being recruited by juggernauts like Alabama, Texas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, USC, LSU, Miami, Tennessee and Clemson. Kirkpatrick's ability to completely shut down his side of the field is similar to NFL All-Pro Champ Bailey, the best corner in the game. Athletically, the eight-time Pro Bowl selection off the charts. The 6-foot, 192-pound Bailey has excellent size for a corner and the strength to bully receivers at the line. At Charlton County (Folkston, Ga.), Bailey earned PARADE All-American honors as a senior after scoring 28 touchdowns on offense while picking off two passes on defense. He was a three-way star (cornerback, receiver, kick returner) at Georgia and earned the Bronco Nagurski Award as the nation's most outstanding defensive player. Bailey has carried those traits to the NFL, where he's given quarterbacks nightmares. Kind of like Kirkpatrick.

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Kirkpatrick v. Bailey
DRE KIRKPATRICKCHAMP BAILEY
HIGH SCHOOLGADSDEN CITY (ALA.)CHARLTON COUNTY (GA.)
POSITIONCORNERBACKCORNERBACK
CLASS20091996
HT/WT6-2/1806-0/192
INTERCEPTIONS*62
TACKLES*5637
TOUCHDOWNS*228
* KIRKPATRICK'S JUNIOR SEASON, BAILEY'S SENIOR SEASON


REWIND:
HITS AND MISSES FROM OUR PAST NEXT PICKS

HIT: MATTHEW STAFFORD TO TOM BRADY
Stafford is only a junior at Georgia, but he's the star QB for the nation's preseason No. 1 team and a Heisman candidate to boot. And oh yeah, he's the potential No. 1 pick in April's NFL Draft.

MISS: RYAN MOORE TO RANDY MOSS
While Moss is busy shattering records in the NFL, Moore is getting cut by Canadian Football League teams. At Miami, Moore never lived up the hype of being the nation's No. 1 wide receiver in high school back in 2001-02.

NEXT IN LINE:
MORE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COMPARISONS

THE NEXT BRIAN URLACHER:
MANTI TE'O
LIKE URLACHER, TE'O IS A FREAKISHLY ATHLETIC LINEBACKER WITH THE SPEED TO CATCH BALL CARRIERS AND THE POWER TO BRING THE PAIN TRAIN WITH EACH HIT.

THE NEXT TONY ROMO:
AARON MURRAY
AS ONE OF THE NATION'S TOP QUARTERBACKS, MURRAY HAS A CANNON FOR AN ARM. BUT LIKE ROMO, HE ALSO HAS THE ATHLETICISM TO MAKE PLAYS WITH HIS FEET.

THE NEXT BRAYLON EDWARDS:
RUEBEN RANDLE
AN ALL-AROUND STUD AT RECEIVER, RANDLE HAS HANDS LIKE FLYPAPER, HE CAN STRETCH A DEFENSE AND HE'S TOUGH TO BRING DOWN. SOUNDS LIKE THE DYNAMIC EDWARDS.