Alex shows on film to have solid overall athleticism to play. He has good balance and the body type to be a good pass rusher at the next level. Alex looks the part of a pure defensive end in a 4-3 defense more than he looks the part of a rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense. From a three-point stance, he has much better leverage and uses improved techniques to defeat his opponent and get into the backfield quickly. From a three-point stance, he has better technique against the run. From a two-point stance, he lacks the agility to be effective dropping off the line of scrimmage into the passing lanes and is not fast or quick enough to be effective at the next level. Alex is just a much better football player from a three point stance than he is a two point stance. It's really that simple.
I have no clue who told this kid he was better off standing up than he is with his hand down, but all I can say is Alex isn't half the player standing up. When he stands up (which is most of the time), he runs around the right tackle to try to make a play. When he stands up and comes inside on a stunt, he is up too high and loses whatever strength he may have had and has no leverage to make a decent rush. When he stands up, he does not have the agility to get back into zone coverage quickly enough for the next level. This is a case of coaches fitting players to a system rather than coaches fitting a system to a player's strength.
I'm watching the film of Alex and I'm all ready to just cream him in a profile and all of a sudden he puts his hand on the ground and exploded into the right tackle, changed the line of scrimmage and made a tackle in the backfield. He looked like a totally different player. He does it again on the very next play and he shows me techniques that most players don't have at the NFL level. So I look at these two downs over and over and over trying to get a fix on this kid. Now I'm obsessed and go back to THR film library to see if I can get a better fix on this kid's true talents. I see a pure 4-3 defensive end who is a complete player against both the run and the pass with his hand down. I see that he needs to bulk up, but that he has the potential to be a very solid defensive end who can get 5-8 sacks a year and make tackles on the line of scrimmage and in the backfield. I see a player who reads a defensive lineman's stance, looks to have excellent football intelligence and uses better techniques rushing the passer than most others coming out in this draft. When I go back to this year's film, I see a kid looking into the backfield on every play, running up the field and around blocks and taking himself out of the play on just about every down. Now you tell me which player would you prefer to draft? If Alex thinks he is a great pass rushing linebacker for the next level and expects to play that position in the NFL, I think he will be lucky if he is in the league three years from now. If I had a chance to interview him and he told me he liked playing with his hand down and would be happy to play defensive end in a 4-3, I would think hard about drafting Alex because, in that scenario, this kid could be a very good player. It would be up to him. Look on Rob's board for what round NFL teams will be interested in drafting Alex. Now I know the University of Texas fans are going to be pissed at me, but all I can tell you is what I see on the film and in this case, I think the coaches made a big mistake standing this kid up and telling him he was a rush linebacker. What kind of a draft would it be if I didn't piss someone off? Seriously!
Drew “ The B.S. Detector” Boylhart