Kirkpatrick attended Gadsden City High School, where he played for the Gadsden City Titans high school football team. He was a teammate of fellow Crimson Tide players Jerrell Harris and Kendall Kelly. He completed his senior football season in the fall of 2008. Kirkpatrick participated in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl & the 2008 Alabama Mississippi All-Star Football Classic, where he was recorded at 6 ft 2 in and 180 lbs.
Kirkpatrick played his final three high school seasons at Gadsden City (35 games) and finished his career with 193 tackles, 17 interceptions, three returned for a touchdown, 36 pass breakups, two sacks, one punt return touchdown, one kick return touchdown and one receiving touchdown. After completion of his senior season he was awarded as the ASWA 6A back of the year as well as a first team all-state defensive back for the second consecutive year.
Entering February 2009, Dre Kirkpatrick was one of the most highly rated and sought after high school football recruits in the country, having been awarded a five-star rating by national recruiting outlets Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Kirkpatrick was selected 17th overall in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. On May 18, 2012, he signed a four-year $8.6 million contract with the Bengals which includes a $4.7 million signing bonus.
Worked his way back from preseason knee injury to make debut in Game 8, Nov. 4 vs. Denver, but a concussion suffered in Game 12 at San Diego, combined with recurrence of knee injury, sidelined him for remainder of season ... Played in five Games (Games 8-12), with two tackles on defense and two on special teams ... Saw first defensive action of his career late in game on Nov. 11 vs. N.Y. Giants (no statistics), replacing injured CB Adam Jones ... Saw his first extensive action on defense on Nov. 18 at Kansas City, logging two tackles.
Played in 14 games (Games 1-2 and 5-16), with starts at LCB in Games 14-16 and Wild Card playoff, in place of injured Terence Newman ... Had 30 tackles on defense and four on special teams ... Tied for team lead with three INTs (one returned for TD), one sack and five passes defensed ... Inactive for Games 3-4 due to hamstring injury ... Two tackles on defense Oct. 20 at Detroit, seeing increased action after injury to CB Leon Hall ... Two tackles Nov. 17 vs. Cleveland, including his first career sack, one-yarder of Jason Campbell ... Won a 50-50 ball from Pro Bowl TE Antonio Gates at Bengals 25 in the third quarter on Dec. 1 at San Diego, and Bengals responded with TD drive to take lead for good at 14-7 ... Led secondary with five tackles on Dec. 8 vs. Indianapolis ... First career start on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh, subbing for injured Terence Newman, and logged four tackles ... Started Dec. 22 vs. Minnesota and had two tackles and a pass defensed ... Started Dec. 29 vs. Baltimore and had career-high nine tackles (led secondary) with two INTs; the second returned 21 yards for TD in fourth quarter ... Two tackles in Wild Card playoff on 1-5-14 vs. San Diego.
Has played in Games 1-13 and has 10 tackles on defense, three passes defensed and seven special teams tackles (tied for third on team) ... On Sept. 14 vs. Atlanta, downed a punt at the four-yard line and teamed with LS Clark Harris to down another at the one ... Had a pass defensed and two special teams tackles on Oct. 26 vs. Baltimore ... Had two special teams tackles on Nov. 2 vs. Jacksonville and teamed with WR James Wright to down a Kevin Huber punt at the six-yard line ... Had three tackles on defense and one on special teams Nov. 6 vs. Cleveland, and teamed with James Wright to down a punt at the three-yard line ... On Nov. 16 at New Orleans, the first of his two passes defensed broke up a play to WR Marques Colston in end zone, the first play of a Bengals goal line stand ... On Dec. 14 at Cleveland, he recorded his 1st start of the season and recorded his 1st INT of the season from Johnny Manziel and defended a pass. On December 22, he intercepted Peyton Manning 2 times. One was returned for a touchdown earlier in the game. The second was the game ending interception in the final minutes of the 4th quarter.