With the potential (maybe even likely?) exit of offensive lineman Jeff Allen, the Kansas City Chiefs would be wise to search for a replacement who can give the team the same value. While no draft prospect is a guarantee, LSU offensive lineman Vadal Alexander certainly looks the part.
Alexander is the sort of versatile lineman that general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid seem to appreciate. Last year, Dorsey used a second round selection on Mizzou's Mitch Morse, who had experience playing all over the line but settled in admirably at center. To help replace Allen, they're likely going to want a similar player who can plug into multiple places and perform at the pro level.
"I feel like I can play either [guard or tackle]," said Alexander at the NFL Combine. "I love the tackle position. I've played it most of my life, so I'm open to playing tackle or guard. I train as a tackle ... and knowing my physical play, I know I can always kick in."
He's right. Alexander has a very impressive college resume, facing SEC-level competition for four years. Alexander was LSU's starting right tackle as a rookie and earned Freshman All-America honors in doing so. La'el Collins' presence kicked him inside for the next two seasons to left guard where he earned All-SEC honors both years. This year, he moved back out to tackle and was named to various All-America teams once again.
The sum total of his experience is impressive: 50 games, 46 starts, almost equal between both positions. That's basically three full NFL season's worth of starts.
In addition, Alexander is massive. He measured in at 6'5, 326 lbs. at the Combine, although he says he hopes to play 5-10 pounds lighter at the pro level to give him some extra quickness. And therein lies a bit of the issue.
Some teams will be down on Alexander for not being athletic enough for the pro level. No doubt he will succeed as a huge run blocker at guard, but teams who are banking on that versatility might not agree he can continue to be that sort of player on the outside. All that said, the Chiefs are clearly interested.
Also had a chance to talk with LSU OL Vadal Alexander, who has already met informally with the #Chiefs. Formal interviews begin tonight.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) February 24, 2016
Mike Mayock has Alexander as his second-best guard overall, so it's clear that the second round would be the likely landing spot for the big man. This all depends on fit for each team, but his experience and power and frame will play well for several teams.
Will he still be on the board near the bottom of the second round? Do the Chiefs want to invest another second round pick on an interior lineman? It will be interesting to find out.