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Do the Redskins believe that McKensie Alexander is the best CB in the draft?

Apr 13, 2016, 12:47 PM EDT


Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 16 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Mackensie Alexander

Height: 5-10
Weight: 190
40-yard dash: 4.50

Projected draft round: 1


What they’re saying

The self-proclaimed best cornerback in the draft, Alexander is a player whose stock is all over the place. Anybody criticizing him for zero college interceptions is missing the point entirely, but there are enough concerns about his play and size to prevent him from being a sure fire top-10 pick. Still, Alexander should be a solid first-round player.

PFF draft guide

How he fits the Redskins: You hear all the time that the Redskins are in great need at the safety position but cornerback isn’t far behind on the list of concerns. Bashaud Breeland is a solid starter but beyond him you have an injury question mark in Chris Culliver (knee), Will Blackmon, who will turn 32 around midseason, the inexperienced Quinton Dunbar, and some other young projects.

Is Alexander the answer? He is a “football player” as McCloughan defines the term—confident, tough, good instincts, and he loves to play the game. The fact that he had no interceptions jumps out at some. But he also didn’t allow a touchdown in 2015 and he was thrown at just 57 times, per the PFF Draft guide.

Alexander certainly doesn’t lack for confidence. “I’m telling you I’m the best corner in this draft class,” he said at the combine.

Although he lacks size he knows how to use what he has. Here he comes flying into the picture after Calvin Ridley, Alabama’s top receiver, catches a swing pass. Alexander stays in control, breaks down, and takes Ridley down with a one-on-one tackle in the open field.


Potential issues: Alexander might be able to add a few more pounds but he likely will spend his NFL career as a 5-10 corner who weighs under 200 pounds. Do the Redskins want someone that size to guard Dez Bryant (6-2, 225) or Jordan Matthews (6-3, 212) twice a year?

Although he was fairly durable at Clemson, a hamstring injury knocked him out of the national title game against Alabama early.

Alexander played just two years a Clemson, declaring for the draft after his redshirt sophomore season.

Bottom line: McCloughan has put out the contradictory notions that he like big guys and that a player’s attitude and fight matter more than his height and weight. Which way he leans could be tested if Alexander is on the board when the Redskins are on the clock with the 21st pick.

In his own words

On how he deals with different types of receivers:

“If I’m going against (Laquon) Treadwell, which I’ve studied, I know who he is, I haven’t played against him, my game plan is — he’s a big guy, he uses his body real well — (like) another guy we have at Clemson, Mike Williams. Same personnel (type). He’s not very fast, but you know they’re going to give you what they’ve got. They’re very aggressive, very physical, they snatch the ball in the air. I’m taking away what they do best. I’m taking those jump balls away. “If I’m covering Will Fuller, I know he’s a deep vertical guy. He just ran 4.3, I’m proud of him. He’s a fast guy. I’m fast too,” he said. “But I know he’s a vertical guy. If I take his vertical game away, I wouldn’t say he sucked, but he’s not that good. You force (Notre Dame coach Brian) Kelly to go to the screen game, which they did against us a lot, just to get him touches. Feed him some kind of way.”

Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

  1. kenlinkins - Apr 13, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Rich: Could you write something about guys on a futures contract or just signed UDFA. How do they get paid from Feb to Sept (before getting their first NFL game check). What do they live on, when do they get paid, what do the Redskins pay for, when do they have to be at Redskins Parks etc. (i.e. how tuff is it to live between Feb and Sept)?

    • jim kubas - Apr 13, 2016 at 1:40 PM

      I would like to Know that too.interesting.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 13, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Eli Apple has the frame, Mackensie Alexander has the game.

    I just don’t know, you know? And there will be so many decent DBs who might turn out to be future Breelands in rounds 2-4…

  3. James McFullan - Apr 13, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    I’d prefer Eli Apple over Mackensie Alexander just for size, but I’d prefer Vernon Hargreaves III over both because I believe that he is a true shut down corner, but he will probably be gone by 21.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 13, 2016 at 4:15 PM

      The counter-argument is you have to believe you can teach Apple to cover people properly, because he hasn’t shown much of that in college.

      I agree Hargreaves is probably a top 12 pick. But William Jackson III deserves to be in the conversation for 1st round CBs after that.

  4. hotpicksblog - Apr 13, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    Scott M is not drafting Alexander. He already told us that. All you have to do is listen to when he describes his kind of player.

    • cbckbrown - Apr 13, 2016 at 7:58 PM

      What are u talking about ? Alexander fits the description.

  5. Joe - Apr 13, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    Rather have William Jackson lll with the 21st pick he is tall,agressive,loves thw game and physical. Archives

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