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2016 NFL Draft Profile: Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander

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The Bengals took a corner in the first round of the 2012 and 2014 Drafts. Could they continue the trend in 2016?

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals may have locked up Adam Jones to a three-year deal, but they could still be in the market for a corner. Clemson's Mackensie Alexander would make sense early in the draft, and selecting him would continue a trend that has gone on for nearly four years: taking a corner in the first round of every other Draft. The Bengals also met with Alexander at the draft, so he is on their radar.

Mackensie Alexander

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 190 lbs

Arm length: 31 3/8

Hands: 9 3/4

College: Clemson

Class: Redshirt sophomore

40 dash: 4.47 (Pro day)

Bench press: 11 reps

Vert jump: 37.5" (Pro day)

Broad jump: 121.0"

3 cone: 7.18

20 yard shuttle: 4.21

NFL Comparisons

Alexander compared to other corners, per Mock Draftable

In terms of size, Alexander almost perfectly matches up with former Bengals corner Shaun Prater and four-time Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel. And like Samuel, Alexander is very confident. He even called himself the best corner in this year's draft class. Unlike Samuel, however, Alexander struggles to force turnovers. He didn't pick off a single pass in his college career.

College Stats

G Solo Ast Total TFL INT PD FR
2014 10 15 6 21 2 0 6 1
2015 13 18 5 23 2 0 5 0
Total 23 33 11 44 4 0 11 1

Scouting Report Consensus - What to like

  • Sticky man-to-man cover corner
  • Swagger and confidence
  • Solid technique
  • Great reaction time
  • Student of the game, wants to get better

Scouting Report Consensus - What not to like

  • Doesn't have the ideal height of an NFL corner
  • Though offenses were hesitant to test him, he didn't make an interception
  • Has yet to learn all of the advanced mechanics
  • Needs to improve in press coverage
  • Relied on quickness over football in college, gets caught up in trash talk

Projected Round:

Round 1

Conclusion:

Alexander may not have the flashy stats, but his college tape passes the eye test. Opposing teams were very hesitant to test the corner, and he earned a solid reputation after matching up with quality players like Sterling Shepard. He may not have the ideal size of an NFL corner, and he still needs to progress in his mechanics, especially at the line of scrimmage, but Alexander looks the part. He could be a quality starter in the right system.

If Alexander were on the clock with the 24th pick, I'd have to give him serious consideration. He's talked with nearly every team in the NFL, so scouts clearly liked what they see in him. It would take some time for Alexander to adjust to Cincinnati's Cover 2 scheme, but I believe he could make the transition. His work ethic, confidence and love for the game remind me of Adam Jones, who is still a student of the game at age 32. Cincinnati should definitely consider him if he's on the board at pick No. 24. Picking Alexander in the first round would make a lot of sense for the Bengals.