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Cowboys Draft Target: Louisville CB Jaire Alexander

Last year, the Dallas Cowboys completely overhauled their defensive backfield through the NFL Draft. They allowed starting cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr, and starting/critical safeties Barry Church and JJ Wilcox to walk in free agency. Then, they drafted three new cornerbacks and a new safety in the same draft class.

After a somewhat rocky start to the 2017 season, these defensive backs began to come together and play well. Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie look like the starting corners the Cowboys needed to build their back-end, and Xavier Woods could be a reliable safety for years to come.

Due to the excess draft capital already invested in cornerbacks a year ago, it’s hard to envision the Cowboys spending a first round pick on another corner in 2018. They seem to have found starting outside corners, and with Anthony Brown still under contract as well, there’s a lot of bodies already occupying the depth chart.

But what if they fell in love with one of these first round corner prospects?

And, in a completely realistic scenario, what if their top choices are all off the board prior to the 19th overall selection? In that case, Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander deserves consideration to be that pick.

In my scouting report on Alexander for Slant Sports, I documented what makes me like him as a cornerback prospect so much, including his toughness, physicality, and overall mentality when it comes to football. He’s an instinctual player who isn’t afraid to trust those instincts in order to take chances and make plays.

In coverage, Alexander is best in a press-man scheme where he is able to get physical with receivers and re-route them with his hands. He isn’t the most fluid corner I’ve seen, but he possesses adequate athleticism and a good burst when breaking on balls.

nfldraft2018 jaire alexander 3

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“Against Virginia here, Alexander is in man coverage at the bottom of the screen. He gives the receiver an easy inside release off the ball. The quarterback realizes this and believes he can beat Alexander with the in-breaking route. Alexander reads the throw, anticipates the play, and jumps in front of the ball to come away with the interception.”

Jaire Alexander is also very willing as a tackler in run support. He isn’t a perfect tackler, and his form isn’t exactly textbook, but he has no problem sticking his nose in there and trying to make plays. Multiple times Alexander flashed on tape making big hits on running backs and receivers.

Alexander also offers skills as a returner, something he excelled at during his time with Louisville.

nfldraft2018 jaire alexander

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

The odds of the Cowboys actually drafting a cornerback in the first round are slim-to-none. In fact, I’d be downright shocked if it happened. But similar to pass rushers, you can never have enough guys who can cover.

As cliché as it sounds, it’s a passing league, and teams have to try to throw the ball to win most games. Getting players like Jaire Alexander to thwart those attempts is always valuable.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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