36 Adonis Alexander 6’3 207 Virginia Tech CB-Senior
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Confident. Easy mover at his size. Flips his hips for a big man. Has seen time at both CB and safety. Covers ground outside the numbers when aligned in the deep middle one-third post of the field. Contains positive hand-eye coordination. Reacts to tips and overthrows. He is satisfactory in run support on the edge (wrap is inconsistent-see Weaknesses). Long enough to throw around stalk-blocking WRs on the perimeter. Capable of cutting off the outside release in press-man (Jones, ECU ’16). Does a fine job of clueing the QB in his press-bail techniques. Gets his head around in the Red Zone or in the open field when defending fade routes. Dislodges balls when he connects as a hitter (PBU, 4th QTR, WVU ’17). Reacts quickly to the action in front of him. Exhibits plus effort in open field pursuit angles. Used as a jammer on the punt return unit. Has played the R1 position on the kickoff team.
Weaknesses: Shoulder-block tackling shows up on occasion. There are also times when he’s seen dropping his head as a tackler (MT, Jennings, WVU ’17, TD). Can be a bit elongated breaking down to tackle in space. In his motor-press technique, he gives free access to slant routes (tends to get into a backpedal or opens his hips slightly towards the sidelines). As a bump-and-run CB, he needs to be careful with the second jam because it pushes him out of phase with the WR (TD allowed, ECU ’16). Pass interference penalties have shown up when defending shifty WRs (P.I., Scott, ACC Championship ’16). Loses some WRs in his blind spot when press-bailing. Accountability. Suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules in April of 2016 (https://virginiatech.sportswar.com/article/2016/07/13/adonis-alexander-houshun-gaines-reinstated-virginia-tech-football-will-miss-least-liberty-game/) and was suspended for the team’s opener vs. Liberty. Did not play vs. ECU in 2017 for not meeting the program’s standards (http://www.roanoke.com/hokies/cb-adonis-alexander-doesn-t-make-trip-to-ecu-for/article_d71afe5a-9a59-11e7-8ac0-4fa778d5ec6f.html). Forced to enter the 2018 supplemental draft after being ruled academically ineligible for the 2018 season (https://sports.yahoo.com/virginia-tech-db-adonis-alexander-ruled-academically-ineligible-214729074.html).
- Attended Independence HS (N.C.) and was ranked as one of the Top 30 players in the state by Rivals.com
- 2015 (7 sts): 55 tackles, ½ TFL, 4 INTs, 6 PBUs
- 2016 (5 sts): 44 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 INTs and 7 PBUs
- 2017 (2 sts): 27 tackles, QB sack, 2 TFLs, FF, INT and 4 PBUs
- Career Stats: 126 tackles, QB sack, 4.5 TFLs, FF, 7 INTs and 17 PBUs
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Alexander contains positive ball skills, outstanding size and above average body control. There are some accountability issues that NFL teams will have to digest, but he has generally been a productive spot starter in school. It is important to remember that Virginia Tech frequently rotated cornerbacks during his time in Blacksburg. He was often seen sharing time with Washington Redskins 2018 seventh-round selection (241st overall) Greg Stroman. Along with the accountability issues, the rotation is a big reason the 6-foot-3 cornerback started just 14 games in three years. As a special teams performer, he’s been a significant contributor on the punt return, punt and kickoff units. He’s a more physical version of San Francisco 49ers promising young corner Ahkello Witherspoon. The difference? While clearly a more physical player coming out of school, he lacks Witherspoon’s top-end recovery speed.
DraftNasty’s Grade: 6.0 (3rd Round)