Mackensie Alexander

CB Clemson

5-10, 190, (PD) 4.47, SS 4.21,

31.3" Arms, 37.5" V, 10'1" Br,

6.94 3-Cone, 4.18 SS, 3-C 7.18,

The Clemson Three Part I.

By TOM

Alexander in an ultra aggressive pure cover guy. He is so locked in on guys sometimes that he doesn't see anything else. He blankets them down the sideline, and can't always see the field when he does that. But that is how locked in you want your Strongside CB to be. 

However, No CB has been taken in the common Draft, who never had an interception in college. "I had some opportunities to come up with some picks in my career," Alexander said. "I didn't come up with them at the end of the day. I'm taking it like a man, you know. But in a lot of situations, where I wasn't challenged very much. A lot of quarterbacks and teams stayed away from me. That was their game plan. That's it, really. That's how I answer that." That is a hard trend to overcome. Especially since pass defense is so much more important now a days. Which is fine with me as he keeps dropping down into the Patriots range. 

I think he can minimally be a nickel Corner who helps you win the big games. He is so smart. Just watch his Combine interview. "I'm a competitor," Alexander said. "And theyíre all competitors, but at the end of the day Iím going to say it, and a lot of you guys will say it. I'm the best corner in this draft class. If you look at stats, my numbers, who I am as a person, who Iím competing against. I went against the best receivers in the country. I went against more of the top receivers than anybody in this draft class, and Iím going step for step. I'm not just moving outside. I'm going inside. Iím playing zone, Iím able to blitz. Iím able to show my versatility, everything." He understands schemes and what the DC wants him to do on the field. He made the checks and calls on the field, even though he was a sophomore, and there were senior DBs on the field.

Great feet turning inside and jamming with one hand. He can get powered backwards by the bigger WRs with his inside hand in the WR's shirt, and just keeps his feet moving and bouncing, and regaining balance. "Youíve just got to know who they are," Alexander said at the Combine. "You've got to know their skill set. If I'm going against Laquon Treadwell, which Iíve studied. I know who he is, I havenít played against him. My game plan, okay, heís a big guy. He knows how to use his body real well. Another guy we have at Clemson, Mike Williams, same personnel. Not very fast, but you know they're going to give you what they've got. They're very aggressive, theyíre very physical, they snatch the ball in the air. I'm taking what they do best. I'm taking those jump balls away. I'm doing stuff like that. I'm making them catch shorter balls." It is a heck of a tightrope act to watch. But the pattern is over as soon as the WR starts trying to run through Alexander rather than run the pattern. 

He understand that he can't play small speedsters, like Fuller, the same way he plays big power forward WRs, like Treadwell. "Itís the same thing if Iím covering Will Fuller," Alexander said. "I know he's the deep vertical guy. He just ran 4.3. I'm proud of him. You know heís a fast guy. I'm fast, too. If I take his vertical game away, I wouldn't say he sucks, but he's not that good. Then you force (coach) Kelly to make him go in the screen game, which they did against us a lot just to get him touches. Feed him some kind of way. You want your playmakers getting the ball some kind of way." He has very nice feet to hop outside when the WR breaks Out, and turns and runs with the smoothest hips in the Draft when he turns up field. 

He will zone himself down the seam when no one goes out into a pattern on his side of the field. Likes to shuffle sideways while watching the QB. "A guy like me who can understand the game and can break it down to you guys in front of you like this, it shows you my preparation and who I am as a man," Alexander said. "This means a lot to me. This ainít just me coming out here and speaking to you guys. Iím 22, but Iím ready, and Iím ready to compete with anybody. There's nobody more dedicated than me, who's put more time and who's more of a competitor than me. I don't care, you can line up a safety. We can break down film, we can break down anything. I'm here prepared, and I'm telling you I'm the best corner in this draft class." He understands position and positioning as well as any CB in this Draft.

He can follow the RB across the field and use his speed to help him out of bounds. He will get out of the RB's way to go sideways to set the edge, but if the FB hits him he is done. He does not take on blocks from non-WRs very well. He is a very smart CB. He can adjust how he plays, his technique and how he covers, to what the coaches want him to do. 

They will put him on the opponents top WR, and he will follow him all over the field sometimes, and line him up where ever the number one WR lines up. That is a big help to the DC. He is so physical in the slot on the blindside, and because of his size he might have to be a nickel corner, which becomes more and more valuable every year. He will hop in front of the WR and cut off his pattern in a step or two. He has elite quicks and suddenness. He makes the checks and calls, and when he gets caught signaling as the ball is snapped, he can snap back into coverage and shut the WR down instantly, even though the WR got a head start. 

There was a rumor that he pissed off some teams execs at Combine, which is hard to believe when you watch his Presser at the Combine (but I hope it's true as it sends him closer and closer to the Pats). He may have knocked himself down into the range the Pats could trade up into. They have made deals with the Panthers before. And while having two late 2nds is not optimal, they could be tempting for a team like the Panthers who need a WR and CB. You should be able to picked up excellent prospects at both positions at 60 and 61. If they like Alexander, and he drops to 31, the Pats will be giving the Panthers a call.

He is not the best tackler. He will dive at RBs feet, and when he misses he is left in the dust. He is such a great physical Corner in the passing game, but not so much in the run game. But he does give good effort. He doesn't olť guys. He tries at least. He does not have good instincts against the run. The FB just flipped his legs out from underneath him and he barely moved. Not a great blitzer. He runs a little too tentatively towards the QB. He is at his best moving backwards and sideways out in space. 

When the WR gets separation, he will bail and get behind the WR. Then he waits as he watches the WR, and doesn't even look for the ball too often. Even when he has time to find the ball and make a play. He waits for the WR to catch the ball sometimes, and then attacks him. That is one of the reasons he does have an INT. He was coached or is afraid to let the WR get past him, and will prevent that at all cost. Even if it costs him a shot at an INT on a high lob off a pick play.

He will line up in Off in front of a Bunch, when his guy is in the middle. He will give up underneath stuff when he is in Bail tech. He will get beat by inside moves sometimes, when he is playing outside contain. He is great at protecting the sideline. It is like an obsession for this guy. He can get his hands right in the WRs hands as they are breaking over the middle, and take away any angle the QB has to throw. He has a good feel for when to leave his man, when he sees the QB eyeing down the WR going over the middle. He can play great with outside contain, and then switch to inside contain late in the 3rd and still play great. 

Alexander is one of the smartest DBs in the Draft. He just gets it on the field. He was a college shutdown CB for the number one team for most of the season. He is a Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde type player, who is quiet off the field and a maniac on the field. "Mackensie is definitely a different breed," his teammate Jordan Leggett said. "He's just a different guy. I'm not going to say heís weird or anything. But he's so quiet [in the locker room]. He doesnít talk to anybody. But then you see him out there [on the field] just picking fights, starting fights, just playing football." However, it didn't go over as well at the Combine, where multiple sources said he was not doing well in interviews. 

He is as fierce a competitor as you want. "You get to feel my heart, my passion," Mackensie said. "Who wants it more? That's what it's all about. You've got to go out there with passion. I love the game. The game is me. So when I go out there you can feel me. You can feel my heart out there. I enjoy everything about the game." It shows on the field 
Like a lot of great athletes, he doesn't get credit for all the hard work he puts in. "I love the cornerback position," Alexander said. "Thereís nobody that's dedicated to the position like I am. Iím like a robot because I apply myself that way. A lot of people see my ability but they donít see the part when Iím in the film room, breaking stuff down, the ins and outs of the game." You have to be smarter to play CB in the NFL now a days. He works on the mental aspects of the game as well as the physical.

You have to be a competitor out on the edge in the NFL, or you will get killed. "I'm a competitor," Alexander said. "I want to win. Iím out here striving for greatness. That's what it's about. And having God-blessed ability. God blessed me with a lot of ability also. I'm just thankful, that's all." Not garnering an interception last season might knock him out of the 1st Round. 

Oklahoma: He is shutting down the strongside. He lines up in press and dances backwards with the WR with great feet. I love this kids feet. It is amazing how he can stay right in front of the WR on the sideline for ten or fifteen yards while facing him. He likes to hop forward off the snap like he is going to jam him and then quickly hop backwards. He is shutting down Sterling Shepard, and just giving him nothing. It is very impressive as Shepard is as quick and fast as any WR in the FBS.

UNC: Lined up on the Blindside to start the UNC game. Stepped up to the line and backed off early. He got beat on a comeback, by the speedy WR Hollins. Hollins has some great speed (averaged 25 yard per catch). Alexander was in bail technique, and took off down the sideline with the speed, but lost him for a split second when he broke it off and came back. But that is how he is coached. He is coached to not give up the deep pass at all cost. Plus, he is a bad tackler and knows it. So he has to stay behind the WR so he doesn't give up the big TD down the sideline. 

He played a lot of Bail technique against UNC. He'd go right up to the big and fast WR Hollins, and then bail before the snap. He gave a second catch in the 3rd to Collins as he broke over the middle on the deep cross. Then he broke inside, and Alexander was right in his shirt defending it, but Hollins held on. But then he shuts him down with his feet. He hops backwards right on the line and won't let him release. So the QB has to look the other side, and then has to throw the ball away.

He played more press against UNC, and I love his feet and hips in press. He got beat on an inside move early, but recovered and the QB didn't go his way. He gave up some inside stuff to the UNC WRs, because he was obsessively playing with outside leverage. You could see that he was coached to not give the UNC WR's the sideline at all cost. He kept turning his back to the sideline and shuffling downfield and outside right off the snap. Then he switched late in the 3rd.

FLA ST: He is so good at grabbing shirt, and then moving backwards with his feet moving a million miles per hour. He has the quickest feet in the Draft. Hard to understand how he doesn't have an INT in college football yet. Great hips turning and running diagonally across the field with one eye on the QB. He will line up in the slot on the blindside as well. He does a nice job slicing through the pick, but he has to give up some separation to sneak through. But gets back quick. He gave up a high lob pass against FLA ST, he was picked and bailed to stay behind the WR. But the pass was high and slow. He had time to make a play on the ball, but got into tackling position instead of pass defense position. I don't know if that was coaching or instincts, but he had a shot at defending that pass and didn't even try. Nice defense on the Out and Up from the Slot, and has the speed to run down the sideline with the WR. He does not let WR's get open breaking inside from the Slot. He is so aggressive at stopping them. Oops, maybe a little too aggressive as he got a flagged against FLA ST. 

Miami: He is such a waterbug dancing up to stop a runner. He will line up in the Slot sometimes. He does a nice job cutting off the slot guy when they break inside. He does not let them get open over the middle. He looks like an elite NFL Nickel Corner to me. He can hang in front of the WR with his quick feet moving backwards, and weave in front of him to destroy the timing of the pattern. He plays some bail sometimes. He does a nice job running down field with his upper body turned back to the QB, and watching him all the way as he runs with the WR. 

BC: He has great feet in front of the WR on the inside out move, and runs so effortlessly with the WR backward, sideways, and then transitioning into the full bail. He has such nice instincts for positioning on the field. When the WR is spinning around and going nuts, he can barely move and have him completely blanketed while watching the QB. Plays Off a little too deep sometimes. Very nice feet. He flies up to help defend the screen in front of him with amazing hopping feet. 

Alexander Vs. Alabama:

I'm so excited I found a two minute Tape after editing the Penn State Three Tape for half the day yesterday. He stays in the Slot, but really zones it up just outside the Box. He really is not very good against the run. But watch him cut down the receiver coming out of the backfield. That is a top of the line tackle (0:01). One thing about Alexander is that he moves around a lot in coverage. You can see him do every kind of coverage you want from Press to bail technique, and every kind of Zone in between (0:12). He lines up way off. He reads the screen, and watch him charge up field. He is one of those super quick twitch guys who runs with that odd herky jerky feel, like he is changing direction with every step.

He turns instantly and shuffles backwards. You can see his quick feet as he shuffles down field facing the QB. The QB dumps it off, and you can see the mistackle as he tries to arm tackle the RB (0:18). You can see it here again. He reads the run to Henry. He charges up field with great aggressiveness and tries to slice past the QB. But the WR gets a little blocked in, and he misses the tackle again (0:35). His biggest weakness on Tape is that he too often isn't ready at the snap. He will try and make checks too late, and the ball will be snapped when he is not looking. This can also add some confusion for his teammates. You can see him making checks late, but he turns around in time (0:42). This is good coverage here, because it isn't called by the ref (0:48). But he retreats in Off coverage, and waits at the point he has been coached where the WR will make his breaks. Then he hits him, and grabs him, and follows him inside on the Deep In. Then he turns up field and runs with him as he makes a desperation break deep.

He waits for the WR at the point he makes his break on Tape. Then he covers him like a power forward in the Post (1:03). He shuffles back, eyeing down the QB. Then he charges forward and dives at the ball carrier's feet again. This time he gets them just enough (1:18). He protects the edge, and then picks up the FB coming out of the backfield. You can the QB pump fake as he was planning on going to the flat (1:35). But Alexander had shut it down.

He makes the tackle of Henry, but it is too late as he was in the endzone, and he got hurt. Henry hurts defenders when he runs (1:42). Alabama refuses to line up a guy on his side again. He actually sticks his nose in a makes the tackle on Henry. That is impressive (1:48). And of course he gets hurt, because Henry hurts guys when they get in his way. 

Alexander Vs. Alabama:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9atBu-zwZ10

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Alexander Vs UNC:

Okay, I hated that Tape (Alexander Vs Alabama), but this Tape is also short, and you get a great look at Lawson and Dobbs. I keep doing too much, and can't piece together the 1st Round to show off all the new Profiles. So this will be quick and semi-painless, as I have to put my Humpty-Dumpty Mock Draft back together again. Plus, I'm only doing this because I think the Pats, however slim, have a shot at Alexander, and I think he was made to play slot corner in the NFL, but he also looks like he can play outside as well.

Alexander #2 does a great job staying with the big Speedster Hollins. You will be hearing a lot about him next year (0:01). I like Lawson #90 as an OLB in a 3-4 a little more than Dodd. He gets a little stuck as they fake the option. But watch the second burst, from a stand up position, that blasts him past the OLT and right into the QB. That is a 270-pound edgerusher. Dobbs stunts inside and gets stuck.

Alexander bails right before the snap. Watch the feet and hips as he turns and shuffles back in off coverage. Both Lawson and Dobbs stand up here like outside linebackers in a Patriots even front. Lawson does this a lot. He tries to duck under the OLT and gets caught, but watch how he still freakishly drives the OLT back to the QB. Dobbs gets doubled by the two RBs, and can't punch them off (0:10). This is such a great look at Alexander's swivel hips as he bails sideways down field. Then watch how quick he snaps forward after he gets that foot planted (0:18). You also get a peek at how low Lawson can go. Then the slip, and watch how he regains his feet while still moving towards the QB.

Watch Alexander's feet as he weaves in front of the WR, and slows him down enough to destroy the timing of the throw. That is great coverages right there. It frustrates the WR so much that he finally reaches out and grabs Alexander and the pattern is over (0:24). Some times the rush is just about hustle. Watch Dobbs #98, who is always on the strongside. He gets caught by the ORT. But watch this stop and go move as the QB takes off. He stops, slaps the arms, and then suddenly Rips under the ORT, and forces the bad throw.

Up in press were I like him. He has outside contain. Watch the quick hop inside when the WR breaks inside. He has such great quick feet and a hop in coverage. This is a nice play by Lawson. Watch him power the OLT back, with his arms extended, to force the RB inside (0:34). Watch him move backwards down the seam like a slot corner (0:41). Remember Dobbs is a 275-pound passrusher. He is standing up here like an OLB. He charges up field, and then turns into the ORT with his long arms. He fakes inside and knocks him backwards with his hands. He sees the QB take off. So he crosses the ORT's body, and slams into the QB as he throws.

Covering in the slot. You get a great look at him transitioning into the shuffle, and then out of the shuffle into a full run. His hips are so effortless. Lawson is standing up on the edge. He bursts into the OLT's outside shoulder, and rides it right to the RB on the play action (1:00). You get a great look at Alexander hoping back in coverage. He turns it into a kind of gallop. Then watch the snap as he changes direction once he reads the play (1:16). You have to watch Lawson here. Just in case you think I'm full of it. He is standing up, and he bails right before the snap to cover the RB, like a Patriots OLB. He gets outside with nice controlled speed. Weaves between the blockers, still in coverage, right at the RB. If that pass was accurate he was going to kill that RB.

Back outside. He steps up into Press. Watch the little hop back that he likes to do. Then the effortless hips turning to run with the WR with his upper body twisted back to watch the QB. He might have the best hips in the Draft (1:23). Both Dobbs and Lawson are standing up again. Watch Lawson's blast off that gets the OLT off balance a little. Then he gets real low, and pulls his shirt down to get him even more off balance. Then he rams him into the ground and pounces on the QB (1:31). I also love him in Press on the Blindside. He can play there in the NFL. Watch the snap in the hips as he has to swivel them outside, and then watch them snap back over 180-degrees as the WR break inside (1:40). This might be my favorite play by Dobbs all year. He blasts off inside, as the linebacker is blitzing outside of him. The ORT dives down at his knees to chop him. Watch how low he goes without losing his balance. He gets his shoulder pads down so low they protect his knees, and the  ORT goes down by himself. Then he has a lane to the QB. Watch the acceleration as he bursts to the QB, and rips him down to force the bad throw. You also get a good look at Lawson getting real low and stopping the chop block with his hands.

Alexander steps up on Hollins in Press again. He bails a little before the snap, as the LBs blitzed. So the safeties are probably up. You just get to see his great feet shuffling back to keep his body in position so he can see the WR and the QB. He gives up the catch, but that was only the second catch in the first three quarter by a top prospect in next years Draft (1:48). I like the rushes of Dobbs and Lawson as well. Dobbs rushes standing up, but turns the corner a little too late. Lawson stops the TE from getting outside, and then pops the OLT back into the QB.

You great a perfect look at Alexander's technique here. He turns to the side right off the snap. Then he shuffles downfield eyeing the QB the whole way. The WR breaks in as the QB slows. This is why he goes in the 2nd Round. You would have liked to seen him get that ball, or at least make a play on it. The QB throws high and he can't make a play on it. Both Lawson and Dobbs absorb cut blocks and can't get pressure (1:58). Up in Press. This is when I like him the best. When he stays in Press and uses his feet to slow the WR, so the QB can't throw to him. See how he weaves and hops in front of him with his feet so that the WR can't get into his pattern. The QB wanted to go to him, and when he couldn't he panicked and threw the ball away (2:07). Dobbs has a nice rush. He gets a nice shoulder punch. Then a Rip. Then watch the ultra quick spin move that is so fast the ORT can't stop. Then the QB bails, and he slaps the OLT's arms down, and crosses his face for the third time. Meanwhile Lawson gets stuck in the triple team. He gets jammed by the OLT and OLG, the OLT picks up the blitzer, so the RB comes over to jam him as well.

Alexander is suddenly in inside leverage. He turns towards the WR and shuffle down field with him. Lawson blasts off a little late, but runs past the double team block. But t he TE is able to wash him past the QB. But he is able to stop, change direction, and jump on top of the QB (2:19). Watch Alexander's head and feet as he sticks to the WR like fresh dog crap on his shoe (damn puppy!). Then watch him stop as the WR cuts out, and he gives him nothing (2:29). That is just great coverage, and elite quickness and COD.

So they move him off the line and he zones it up. I don't like that decision. But watch Lawson here. He blasts off the OLT's outside shoulder. The stocky RB jams his shoulder into his gut. But he just keeps going, and shoves the ORT past the QB, and hits the QB to help make the bad pass, That looked like a 270-pound rusher there (2:48). I also like Dobbs rush as well. He blast off into the double. Shoves it off, and bounces inside, where he jams the ORT into the QB's way as he throws. He looked like a 277-pound guy on that rush.

Here Alexander is confusing things before the snap. He does that sometimes. They snap the ball before he is ready. But watch the quickness as he snaps his head back, and sees they are running right at him. Watch the elite athleticism as he leaps over the blocker. Lawson does a great job getting up field and turning the RB inside  (2:57). Alexander stays in front of the motion man, and checks the play into a match up zone. This causes confusion as he takes the guy who breaks outside, and his teammate in the middle doesn't take the deep guy (3:15). Lawson uses a little head and shoulder fake in the speed rush. He runs past the OLT into the QB. Dobbs tries to split the double. He does, but it is too late.

They have Alexander burst past the LOS for some reason (3:36). They need to calm things down a little here. They put Alexander back in Press. He turns and runs down the seam with the big WR (3:43). He switches sides again. They really move him all over the place to try and confuse the QB. He gets great position on the WR in the Flat, and the QB cannot throw into that position so he has to take off (3:54). Watch this Rip move by Dobbs. He blasts off. Slaps the arms down, and then swings his arms around as he dips and rips as quick as I've ever seen past the ORT. Watch the instant turning of the corner, as he uses the ORT's body to turn him faster.

Alexander hops inside on the fake, and then has to spin back around, putting his back to the QB and WR, and back into coverage. That was risky, but a great recovery. Meanwhile, Lawson and Dobbs do what they do best. Lawson breaks inside to hit the QB, and Dobbs runs the arc outside to try and hit the QB (4:11). Watch this coverage by Alexander. He waits for the WR in off, and then is instantly running on the WR's hip. He goes for the fake inside, and then watch the suddenness in his hips as he twists back outside to defend the pass. Those are some elite hips right there (4:20). Lawson shows his 270 pound size with a power rush into the double team. He sticks his inside shoulder into the OLT and dings him back. While Dobbs runs by the ORT, but it is too late.

Alexander Vs. UNC:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E90WWewrbWk

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Alexander's Bio:

 

I hate it when universities like Clemson don't support their athletes once they are done with them. And you have to go to other Websites like Sports-Reference.com, just to find their star players seasons Stats:


Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2014 Clemson ACC FR CB 10 15 6 21 2.0 0.0 0 0 0 6 1 0
2015 Clemson ACC SO CB 13 18 5 23 2.0 0.0 0 0 0 5 0 0
Career Clemson 33 11 44 4.0 0.0 0 0 0 11 1 0

2015: Member of the Bednarik and Thorpe. Award preseason watch lists ... preseason third-team All-American by Athlon.

2014: First-team freshman All-American by FWAA ... second-team freshman All-American by Athlon ... Honorable Mention All-ACC selection (media, coaches) ... had 22 tackles, two tackles for loss, six pass breakups and one recovered fumble in 766 snaps over 13 games (13 starts) ... first in school history in snaps by a freshman ... 10th in school history in snaps by a cornerback ... opponents threw 57 passes at his man and completed just 20, with two touchdowns ... did not allow a touchdown the final nine games ... first freshman corner to start 13 games in a season ... had three tackles in 60 snaps at No. 12 Georgia on Aug. 30 ... had two tackles and a pass breakup in 66 snaps at No. 1 Florida State on Sept. 20 ... had one tackle and a pass breakup in 81 snaps against North Carolina on Sept. 27 ... had two tackles and one tackle for loss in 54 snaps at Boston College on Oct. 18 ... had a pass breakup and recovered fumble in 62 snaps against Syracuse on Oct. 25 ... had two tackles and a pass breakup in 49 snaps at No. 23 Georgia Tech on Nov. 15 ... had five tackles in 74 snaps against South Carolina on Nov. 29 ... had four tackles and two pass breakups in 45 snaps against No. 24 Oklahoma on Dec. 29.

2013: Redshirted ... was slated to be in the mix, but suffered an injury in the preseason..

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