2016 NFL Draft Profile: Mackensie Alexander, CB Clemson

Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander will be a first round draft pick during the 2016 NFL Draft, but should he be selected by the Minnesota Vikings?

Finding a great cornerback in the NFL Draft can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Often times, there are parts of a defensive back’s game that just don’t translate well to the NFL level or the jump in level of competition at the professional level is too much for them to handle.

Guys like Mackensie Alexander are the sort of player who have a lot of potential, but might struggle in the NFL. His physical nature of play and competitive nature on the field make him one of the most sought after prospects in the draft. At the college level, he was the definition of ‘shutdown corner’, not allowing a single touchdown to any pass catchers he was covering.

But that physical nature isn’t always a good thing. In today’s NFL, defensive backs are getting flagged more than ever for penalties, and that is something that Alexander will have to try to adjust when he gets to the pros. Gritty players can help give a team a sense of toughness, but can also be a liability and put their team in bad situations. In addition, he should only appeal to teams that use a lot of man coverage, because that is his biggest strong suit.

Here are Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander’s numbers from the events at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine according to NFL.com:

  • Jan 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Mackensie Alexander (2) reacts against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Height: 5’10”

  • Weight: 190 pounds
  • Arm Length: 31 3/8″
  • Hand Size: 9 1/8″
  • 40 Yard Dash: N/A
  • Bench Press: 11 reps
  • Vertical Jump: N/A
  • Broad Jump: N/A
  • 3 Cone Drill: N/A
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: N/A

Mackensie Alexander compares to:

  • CBS SportsJosh Norman, Panthers
  • NFL.com: Desmond Trufant, Falcons

Fit for the Minnesota Vikings:

The Vikings could be looking at add another cornerback to prepare for when Terence Newman hangs up his cleats. When you sprinkle in Rhodes, Waynes, and Munnerlyn, you have a capable group of defenders that could allow Alexander time to grow.

My Take:

Mackensie Alexander is the kind of guy you want in your defense. He’s tough, aggressive, and physical. Even if he isn’t all tall as some folks might hope for, his man coverage skills should make him one of the drafts most intriguing prospects. I do believe that Alexander will be gone before the Vikings are on the clock, but if he is available, the team could do a lot worse in the draft than picking a high-potential corner to develop.