Alex McCalister, EDGE
School: Florida | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-6 / 239 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th Round or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Dion Jordan
It's hard to tell the type of player Alex McCalister will become in the NFL. Some people compare him to Randy Gregory because of his body type and in a some ways they are very similar. Both are long and lean, they rush from the edge – their play is very raw and uncontrolled, and they both have only had 2 years of meaningful college production in their careers. Both have off the field problems. McCalister was dismissed from Florida for the final 3 games of his Junior year. The team cited he had violated team rules but wouldn't go into details. McCalister ended up applying for early entry to the NFL anyway, but if Randy Gregory can love weed, and Robert Nkemdiche fall out of a 4th story window while intoxicated and not get dismissed from their respective programs it presents a big red flag to me that McCalister did something ridiculous to be dismissed from Florida.
On a more positive note, McCalister has some obvious talent rushing the passer. He is extremely long (36" arms) and bends the edge well and closes in on the QB quickly. He's uses his length well and can reach beyond lineman and get his hands on the QB. He is a pass rush specialist. He doesn't have the desired functional strength but his quick burst off the edge have helped him against college right tackles. This past season he is actually tied for most sacks on the team despite having missed the last 3 games.
- Long athletic frame with super long arms has plenty of room to add on weight too.
- Great twitch and burst off the snap he wins with his length and quickness.
- Can get low even at 6-6 to bend the edge smoothly and collapse the pocket.
- NEEDS an NFL strength and conditioning program badly. He needs to add at least 10-15 lbs of quality mass in my view, the good thing is he has the frame to do it.
- Off the field issues that are unknown and seem bad. Who gets dismissed from Florida?
- Very raw doesn't know how to put it all together yet needs to develop a repertoire of pass rush moves, needs to remain active using his hands when he can't win with speed, he needs to improve his angels, he needs coaching up probably more than your typical rusher.
- Just bad vs. the run, he lacks the instincts can't see him (right now) as a 3 down player, pass rush specialist right now.
Let's see his work:
One of the more underrated players in the draft? Florida DE Alex McCalister. 6'6 239. Can bend, extremely athletic. Needs NFL weight room.— The Coolest Bloggers (@GridironDiaries) March 9, 2016
Curious where Fla DL Alex McCalister goes in draft: suspended 2x & dismissed. 4.00 short shuttle best in at least 11 years (B. Irvin 4.03)— Steve Andress (@ColtsReporter) February 29, 2016
Alex McCalister with a 7.01 3-Cone. If you're under 7.10 as a pass rusher, you're impressive.— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) February 28, 2016
Florida DE Alex McCalister posting the top broad jump is very interesting for a player that usually wins with length— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) February 28, 2016
I would argue Alex McCalister is a much better pass rusher than Leonard Floyd: pic.twitter.com/aw7TxfKVwH— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) February 22, 2016
Alex McCalister DE Pass Rush Specialist! Speed Off the Edge, Body Control, Burst & Bend. Easily Runs the ar... https://t.co/RBN6RSuPe2— Dustin Laratonda (@DaBigEasy24) February 20, 2016
UT @ UF definitely a good prospect game to watch - Alex McCalister with that Mauldin type shoulder dip: pic.twitter.com/DwZ0ZTGWmY— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) February 16, 2016
Alex McCalister's ability to bend and contort his body without giving up speed is ridiculous. Similar to Mingo but I like him better tbh.— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) February 14, 2016
Talent will not be Alex McCalister's issue regarding where he goes in April. Dismissed from UF in December: pic.twitter.com/Br6eQ8X6bA— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) January 18, 2016
Alex McCalister's ability to bend the edge, get as low as he does turning corner for a 6'6 guy w/ that wingspan is really uncommon— Ryan Booher (@bootang25) January 6, 2016
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
I have to say while I won't write McCalister's success off in the NFL I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Redskins steered clear of him. I would imagine he has a doozy of a story to tell about his dismissal. Sticking to scheme fit he is way too light at his current weight to fit in here and last I checked McCloughan doesn't draft players that would need an entire year to transform their bodies and improve their technique and instincts – at least not as drastically as McCalister would need to to fit into our 3-4 scheme as an OLB. Remember Scot preaches character, size, toughness, instincts for the position, and he wants a football player. McCalister isn't there yet.