PFF scouting report: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
Here is the PFF draft profile for Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Best as a man-cover corner, despite his relative lack of size.
Stat to know:
Allowed just 33 percent of passes into his coverage to be caught in 2015, best in the draft class.
What he does best:
• Matches receivers very well, including players with impressive size and speed. Didn’t allow more than four catches in a single game all season
• Plays bigger than he is. Measured at just 5-foot-10-inches, 190-pounds, but looks like a 6-foot corner on tape at times.
• Smooth mover, could transition well and live with receivers. Criticized for not getting interceptions, but press-man corners rarely get many picks. His game was more about preventing receptions, which he did very well.
• Can come up and tackle well in the run game or against short passes. Often the first man at the ball when playing deep.
• Less comfortable in zone schemes and seems to struggle to change direction at times reacting to a receiver’s pattern when he doesn’t have his hands on them.
• Coverage grade was only above-average, but was hung out to dry a little by Clemson’s coverages that often left him isolated with no underneath help or safety over the top, leading to easy completions underneath in off-coverage.
• Height is an issue for some NFL teams, who simply don’t believe short, small corners can play against NFL wide receivers. Will be passed over or ignored entirely by some teams because of this.
• Can be beaten at times, and coverage numbers flatter his play over the last two seasons. Big plays were left on the field by poor offensive execution—likely won’t be at the next level.
The self-proclaimed best cornerback in the draft, Alexander is a player whose stock is all over the place. Anybody criticizing him for zero college interceptions is missing the point entirely, but there are enough concerns about his play and size to prevent him from being a surefire top-10 pick. Still, Alexander should be a solid first-round player.