Welcome back to the Burgundy and Gold Report. The NFL Supplemental Draft is set to begin tomorrow at 1:00 pm. In many cases two maybe three at the most even get drafted. If the prospect goes un-drafted, he would be added to the pool of UDFA.
Thoughtco.com actually has a decent link explaining the Supplemental Draft guidelines
If a team has interest in a prospect, they must first submit a claim with the prospect’s name and detailing what round they want him in. The player is then awarded to the highest bidder. If the team is awarded the prospect, in turn they forfeit the corresponding selection in following years draft.
Western Michigan DB Sam Beal and Va Tech DB Adonis Alexander are the featured players this year. Projections are all over map for both players, but most have Beal as a 3rd-4th round prospect and Alexander as a 4th-6th rounder.
Both prospects were ruled academically ineligible for the upcoming season. Alexander has been labeled with off the field issues/character issues. We heard similar rumblings about 2nd round selection Derrius Guice as well. Motivation issues seem to be the ongoing theme when it comes to Alexander though.
JP Finley on NBC Sports Washington recently talked about the topic of drafting Alexander on his weekly podcast. Wes McElroy from FOX Sports 910 Radio was the guest on the most recent episode.
McElroy is familiar with many Va Tech players during his reporting assignments over the last few years. McEloy had the following to say regarding Supplemental Draft prospect Alexander.
“He doesn’t get it. Has all the ability in the world to make an NFL roster, but hasn’t showed he wants it. He hasn’t shown he’s committed to the big picture.”
Not the most glowing endorsement of the Virginia Tech DB. Alexander’s film was impressive at times, with the defensive back showing the versatility to be a ball hawk.
He was better used as a safety during his first year and should have been utilized more as a CB/S hybrid. That trait alone should help him to find a home in NFL. Alexander is an exciting prospect with an opportunity to have an impact on the next level. Let’s start out going through some positives about the Va Tech DB.
*Viewed as a Hybrid CB/S who excels in press or off man coverage
*At 6’3 205 has the desired prototypical size for an NFL DB
*Played a lot of centerfield as cornerback and a little as a safety. Played well in quarters/zone coverages
*Alexander plays quicker than his timed 4.6 second forty time
*Has the ability to drop his hips effectively and stay low in his back pedal
*Good quarterback recognition skills
*Missed 8 games in 2017 with a hamstring injury, but returned to push through the rest of the season even though he was clearly not himself physically
Alexander registered 7 ints with 17 pass breakups, 125 total tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 sack (’15 best season with 4 ints) during his Va Tech career
Alexander played safety in HS and started his career at Va Tech at safety, before switching to cornerback permanently. His long arms allow him to get physical in press coverage. Similar to fellow Hookie and former Redskin CB Kendall Fuller, Alexander excels at sniffing out screen passes and seems to always be involved in breaking up short yardage plays.
In no way am I comparing Alexander to Fuller, but I definitely see some of the same endearing qualities. Alexander’s Freshman year was his best year for a reason. Redskins Defensive Backs Coach Torrian Gray left for Florida after one only one season with Alexander. Adonis’s progress suffered and some believe it led to a rebellious phase while at Va Tech.
It’s not a coincidence that most of his troubles at Va Tech started after Gray left. As previously mentioned, the All American had 65 tackles 4 ints 6 pass breakups during Coach Gray’s last year. It has also been reported that Gray was heavily involved in getting Alexander ready for workouts. Supplemental Draft prospects often have baggage. Having a pre-existing relationship with Gray makes him an ideal selection for Washington.
Now we get into the negatives for Adonis, which contrary to Twitter comments is a prospect with real upside. Alexander’s questionable motivation could hinder his ability to stick in an NFL team. In saying that, going to the right team could make or break the prospects career.
*2016 was caught smoking marijuana & suspended for the first game
*2017 violated team rules & suspended for the first two games
*Ruled Academically ineligible for the 2018 season
*2015 was best season, but looked like a different player for the remainder of his time in Blacksburg
*Ankle tackler and needs work on tackling technique
*Doesn’t have the best recovery speed if loses site of the pass catcher
*Needs to play with more physicality
In going through the negatives, the marijuana issue hasn’t come up again per reports. Former Supplemental Draft picks such as Josh Gordon have scared scouts/teams off with his alcohol issues and marijuana abuse.
The term marijuana abuse should be used lightly, considering Gordon’s main issue seems to be alcoholism. Although Alexander isn’t in Gordon’s league talent wise, anything could happen if he’s developed. A lot of his on field issues can be fixed with good coaching. So being drafted by the right team with good leadership in place is important for a prospect like Alexander, who might require a little extra attention behind the scenes.
Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, tweeted earlier today that Alexander cleared his first hurdle to the Supplemental Draft.
“One the eve of NFL’s supplemental draft, teams received a clean drug test from the Va Tech DB Adonis Alexander taken this week. They’d already received notice he passed tests over the last eight months. Alexander is intent on proving marijuana arrest from 2016 was an isolated incident.”
As a student athlete, having a responsible mentor to look up to is paramount. Alexander had that with Coach Gray, but unfortunately their time together in Blacksburg was limited. Some fans have been clamoring for Washington to select Sam Beal over Alexander, but Beal is a true cornerback and not as versatile.
Selecting the Hokie defensive back could be what rights the ship, after three failed Sua Cravens experiment. Alexander’s versatility is exactly what Washington’s defense has lacked.
The bottom line is 31 other teams would be wise to pass on Alexander, but Washington seems like a perfect fit. Again, Alexander had his best year under Coach Gray and the Redskins DB’s Coach has shown a knack for developing talent.
If selected, it’s doubtful that the Va Tech Cornerback would be asked to step in and challenge for meaningful snaps on defense, but should be giving an opportunity to compete with the safeties. Holdovers DJ Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett and 4th round rookie Troy Apke are the presumptive depth at the position.
Alexander would be expected to earn his stripes on special teams in the preseason, otherwise he’ll clear waivers in August and be a great candidate for the Practice Squad. The question on Skins fans minds will be, what should Washington invest in draft capital?
Submitting a 5th round bid might be a little high for some, but if Gray truly gives his stamp of approval the Skins should pull the trigger.
Thanks for checking out another Burgundy and Gold Report. Stay tuned for more Supplemental Draft Wrap Up and Training Camp news!
Written By Adam Aniba