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Bengals met with Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander at NFL Combine

Could Cincinnati draft a corner in the first round of the draft for the third straight even-numbered year?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals met with up to 60 NFL prospects at the Combine in a formal setting, and while these interviews can range from meaning a lot to nothing at all, as reports emerge on who they've met with, we'll be keeping track. In addition to meeting with Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew and Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman at the NFL Combine, reports have indicated that Cincinnati also met with Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander, according to Walter Football.

Alexander has been projected as early as ninth overall in mock drafts, and rightfully so, though Todd McShay has him going to the Steelers at pick No. 25 in his latest mock draft. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound corner, according to his NFL Draft profile, did not allow a single touchdown in coverage in 2015. In addition, opposing quarterbacks only completed 29.6 percent of their passes when targeting Alexander. The cornerback did not participate in combine drills aside from the bench press (11 reps), which makes him even more of difficult a player to evaluate. Alexander injured his hamstring in Clemson's playoff win over Oklahoma, causing him to sit out at the Combine for most drills. He did not intercept a single pass in two seasons at Clemson, and he's smaller than a prototype NFL corner. However, Alexander will potentially perform at his Pro Day, which is scheduled for March 10, if he's healthy enough. If not, Alexander will likely schedule individual on-campus workouts at a later date.

It's difficult to see how Alexander would fit into Cincinnati's scheme, given it looks like Darqueze Dennard will be Leon Hall's successor as the slot corner and Alexander doesn't have the prototypical size of an outside cover corner. However, anything's possible when it comes to the Bengals. Adam Jones is only 5-foot-10, and the Bengals made it work with him, so it's possible either Alexander or Dennard could play on the outside while the other fills in at slot if the club ends up selecting Alexander in the first round. Alexander certainly has Jones' confidence, proclaiming himself as the best corner in this year's draft.

The Bengals do love taking cornerbacks in the first round, so it's certainly possible they consider selecting the Clemson corner. But, if Adam Jones is retained in free agency, it's doubtful the Bengals would use their first round draft pick on a cornerback.

Alexander is a fiery competitor who could help Cincinnati's defense continue its dominance as one of football's most impenetrable units, but free agency will dictate how likely Alexander to the Bengals really is.