Chiefs draft: Secondary preview

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With the initial run at free agency in the books, the picture of the 2016 Kansas City Chiefs is becoming a bit more clear.

Cornerbacks

While 2016 is not a deep year for cornerbacks, the top of the actually has a lot of interesting talent.  There is a clear drop off after the first eight or so guys, but that top eight could do well in just about any draft class.  There will be a big question as to whether teams view Jalen Ramsey as a corner or safety, and really neither decision is wrong.  Regardless, he’ll go very early in this draft, as will Vernon Hargreaves.  So neither of those two figures to be in play for the Chiefs unless John Dorsey catches everyone off guard with a big move up the board.  I don’t see that happening given the rest of the talent that should be available to the Chiefs in the first and second rounds.

Alexander may not fit the mold, but his talent is undeniable. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Mackenzie Alexander – Clemson

Scout’s View: Alexander is a difficult evaluation because there are times on tape that he looks vulnerable to quickness off the line of scrimmage and he doesn’t have the prototypical size of a top-end NFL cornerback. However, he was consistently sticky in man coverage and played with the instincts and confidence needed from a true cover corner. Alexander’s confidence may border on cockiness at times, but that also seems to feed his competitive fire. Alexander may struggle early on, but should settle in to become a quality starter by his second year. ~ Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)

Top Comparison: Josh Norman – Carolina Panthers ~ Dane Brugler/Rob Rang (CBS)

My Take: Alexander doesn’t have the ideal height teams look for in today’s outside corners, but that shouldn’t scare anyone away.  He was a shutdown corner in college to the point that he was getting Darrelle Revis treatment.  I’ve seen a number of people pointing to his lack of interceptions as a big negative…that needs to stop.  His lack of interceptions has nothing to do with talent and is solely based on teams not challenging him.

He took away half the field for one of the best defenses in college football.  There is a direct correlation there.  And where some guys doing that is a sign they didn’t face top players, Alexander’s resume includes Will Fuller (Notre Dame), Pharoh Cooper (South Carolina), Mack Hollins (North Carolina), and Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma)…just in 2015.  That’s impressive.

John Dorsey has been building this secondary with bigger corners since he got here, but if there were ever an exception to that rule, Alexander is it.  I don’t see him getting past the Jets, but if he does (and Eli Apple is no longer on the board) then this is a no-brainer in my book.  Alexander has the talent to be special, despite his lack of ideal height.

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