For the first time in years, the NFL’s Supplemental Draft has some serious juice in it. So much so, that here at Arrowhead Pride, the three-headed draft nerd group is dusting off the ol’ draft machine and firing it up for Draftmas in July. Kent Swanson started the party with his review of Sam Beal.
Multiple players are expected to be picked in this year’s draft—some at positions of need for the Kansas City Chiefs. Is there an addition coming from the heralded “Defensive Back University” to strengthen the Chiefs’ secondary?
Adonis Alexander, cornerback
6’3” | 207 lbs. | Virginia Tech
Projected draft range: fourth to fifth round
Games watched: West Virginia, Clemson, Boston College (2016), Clemson (2016)
I would take him in the: fifth round
One sentence bio: Declared academically ineligible after being a PFF All-American safety as a freshman before transitioning to CB as a sophomore.
One sentence scouting report: Long, physical corner that lacks top-end speed but fits the mold of a press-man boundary CB at the professional level.
Adonis Alexander could be an asset with his press ability. While a little rigid, he shuffles and mirrors the WR, keeping the receiver at his midpoint, forcing him laterally. When the receiver gets outside, he turns and punches well with his offhand. Great coverage on this play. pic.twitter.com/e0TxLkdfkz— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) July 7, 2018
Why he fits in KC: The Chiefs and Bob Sutton want to play a press-man scheme across the board in 2018. Many questions have been asked about the current crop of Chiefs cornerbacks abilities to play inside that scheme, and Alexander has shown the ability to play physical, with a good jam and good enough footwork to go along with elite size for the position.
He lacks the speed to run with quicker receivers on deep routes, and his change-of-direction ability is stiff when mirroring routes in off-man coverage.
While engaged, Alexander plays downhill well, closing on the ballcarrier in the run game and laying the wood. He’s wasn’t afraid to throw his body into the tackle at Virginia Tech and flashed some ability to destroy screens well before they started.
Alexander started as a well-regarded safety at Virginia Tech and transitioned to the cornerback position his sophomore year. That year really highlighted his athleticism and length, and he showed great ball skills and the ability to high-point the ball in coverage for deflections and interceptions.
However, he was suspended for violating team rules in the spring of 2017 and admitted he let some of the hype go to his head after two solid years to start his collegiate career.
His 2017 tape shows it. Alexander was inconsistent all year long, partially due to a hamstring injury and partially what appeared to be motivational issues. He’s stated that he’s more focused and got the wake-up call he needed, so any team taking Alexander in the supplemental draft will be banking on his words and getting the 2016 version of him.
The bottom line
Alexander makes a lot of sense for the Chiefs as a developmental corner with his length and physical play, but his lack of top-end speed and some inconsistent play would mean he likely wouldn’t make major contributions early.
Couple that with the fact that he’s behind the curve by missing OTAs, and expectation for production from the 2018 season should be minimal.
That still hasn’t stopped the Chiefs from being one of the four teams that talked to Alexander after his pro-day workout, meaning there still might be some interest in the former Virginia Tech player.