Alex has good size, strength and speed to play as a DE in a 3-4 defense. He shows effort on every play and does a nice job playing within the context of his team's 4-3 defensive scheme. Alex shows on film to be more of a 2-gap defensive lineman because of how he uses his hands and works his opponent on the line of scrimmage. In the Senior Bowl, they used him inside, let him shoot the gaps and he showed good balance along with some smart hand usage along with some decent pass rushing moves. Alex possesses football intelligence and has the athletic ability to drop into zone coverage off the line of scrimmage. He's solid in recognizing screens and flair passes to his side of the field to make the tackle in open space. Right now I see a defensive lineman with solid athletic talent to be in a rotation system 3-4, 2-gap defensive line scheme, but he will have to play with more aggressiveness to make up for a lack of pure athletic talent.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Alex will have to learn the tricks of the trade to free himself up to make impact plays at the next level like he did in college. His athletic ability right now will not be enough. He looks like a smart kid but fitting his skills to the right system and the right coach will be mandatory for him to be successful.
I have Alex on film playing defensive end in a game against Iowa and you can see the right tackle and the tight end singled up against him handling Alex very easily the whole game. This gave me a good read on Alex and although he showed well at the Senior Bowl the lack of quality offensive lineman was in abundance. Alex made Mike Iupati from Idaho (playing right guard at the time) look like a turnstile at a Wal-Mart the first day of the Christmas rush when Mike was supposed to be pass blocking, but forgot his talent somewhere along the way. On the other hand, Kyle Calloway (RT Iowa) handled Alex with ease. When that future Pro Bowl tight end for Iowa (Reisner) played Alex head up, he too made Alex look average at best. The quality of the competition has a big affect on how well Alex will play and that has nothing to do with effort, passion or aggressiveness. Alex just has a way to go before he can play against NFL talent. Give Alex some time and you should have a solid player.
Drew Boylhart 3/10