Expert Opinion: CB Jaire Alexander’s Profile

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The cornerback position in the draft is very deep this year. Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander is one of the many corners who might hear his name early in the upcoming draft. Alexander is 5’11” and 192 lbs. As a freshman and sophomore, Alexander spent some time as a punt returner (besides corner). In 2016, he earned Second-Team All-ACC accolades. In 2017, he dealt with some injuries, but still got All-ACC Honorable Mention. In his college career, Alexander accumulated 77 tackles and intercepted seven passes.

Alexander is athletic, tough and instinctive. He is aggressive in press coverage and does a good job forcing receivers to disrupt their timing. Alexander’s play recognition is superb as he has, on numerous occasions, sniffed out screens and stopped them before they had the opportunity to develop. He is above-average when it comes to tackling backs. Alexander has the ability to play on the outside or in the slot.

His biggest weakness is his health. If a player cannot stay on the field, it is difficult to take him so high. Additionally, due to his injuries, there is not a lot of film on him from 2017, which makes him hard to truly evaluate. Alexander has a tendency to get too grabby when playing man coverage. In 2016, he gave up too many touchdowns in the red zone and was too inconsistent when tackling opposing receivers. He was able to rely on his athleticism in college; however, in the NFL, he will have to step up his game against more savvy receivers.

Due to the deepness of the cornerback position in this year’s draft, Alexander can go anywhere from mid-1st round to as late as early 3rd round. It will be interesting to see which team falls in love with Alexander and drafts him. He is not the biggest guy available and he will not test off the charts, but he has a lot of potential. He has a similar build to former Browns cornerback, Joe Haden.

The Browns need help in the defensive backfield. I expect them to take care of that position in both free agency and the draft. Alexander is definitely an option, but I would be wary of his injury history, especially with the Haden comparison. Joe Haden had many successful seasons for the Browns, but the last few were marred with injury. If the team’s physicians feel confident with his health and if GM John Dorsey likes him, I’d be happy to have him.

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