Mackensie Alexander, CB
School: Clemson | Conference: ACC
College Experience: RS Sophomore | Age: 22
Height/Weight: 5-10 / 190 lbs.
Projected Draft Status: Mid - Late 1st Round | Actual: 2nd Round, 54th Overall - Minnesota Vikings
NFL Comparison: Jason Verrett
Alexander was one of the most sought-after recruits in the country, ranking as the fourth-best high school prospect by ESPN. He redshirted his freshman year after suffering a groin injury, but when he was healthy the next season, Alexander was named a starter and was recognized as a Freshman All-American and made the honorable mention All-ACC list. In 2015, his redshirt sophomore campaign, he continued to build his reputation as a lock-down corner and was named to the first-team All-ACC and third team All-American lists. Critics of Alexander's game point to inexperience and lack of production, as he has never recorded a career interception and is credited with only 11 pass break-ups in the past two seasons. Supporters will say that his lack of production is due to opposing offenses rarely targeting him. To his credit, Alexander allowed a measly 32.7% completion percentage when quarterbacks threw his way last year. Mackensie did not perform any of the drills at the Combine (except the bench press, where he repped 225# 11 times) due to a lingering hamstring injury suffered in the Championship game, however he did declare himself "the best cornerback in the draft".
Recent Player News
Mackensie Alexander's starting to gain that swagger and confidence he had at Clemson https://t.co/s3MqDDk7Vj— JR (@JReidDraftScout) August 16, 2016
#Vikings rookies & Clemson teammates @JayronKearse8 / @MackAlexander20 both had their first NFL INTs last night pic.twitter.com/Z46KARQpUy— Minnesota Vikings (@VikesVsHaters) August 13, 2016
I love that I share a school with this man, he's an inspiration. Go Tigers @MackAlexander20 #allworkiseasywork https://t.co/vrFKCqt3Q8— John Barrett (@johnbarrett327) August 5, 2016
The best corner in the game @MackAlexander20 pic.twitter.com/tfxsqZDWoE— cj bosket (@charlesbosket) July 29, 2016
How He Makes the Vikings Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
Mackensie Alexander is a talented young player who will eventually be a starter for the Vikings. However his inexperience and the competition above him on the depth chart mean the Redskins likely won't be facing him in Week 10 barring an injury or a dime/quarter defensive package.
Alexander is currently the 5th cornerback on the depth chart behind Xavier Rhodes, Terence Newman, Captain Munnerlyn and Trae Waynes. It's interesting to note that the Vikings have spent three 1st or 2nd-round picks on cornerbacks in the past four years (Rhodes, Waynes, and Alexander), meaning if all three pan out, Minnesota will have a very talented back end for years to come.
Alexander was a player I initially disliked coming into the 2016 Draft due to his limited college career and lack of production (0 college INTs), however after watching more tape it's clear he's extremely competitive and possesses natural man-to-man cover skills. He was rumored a potential target of the Redskins in rounds 1 or 2 (he interviewed with Washington at the Combine), but the acquisition of Josh Norman and the availability of Doctson in the first round probably eliminated the chance of Washington drafting him.