INDIANAPOLIS - As Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander spoke Saturday at the NFL combine, the crowd surrounding his podium kept growing.
If the Ravens draft Alexander, having him, Steve Smith Sr., and Terrell Suggs on the same practice field could make the trash-talking insane. Alexander is entertaining. He oozes with confidence. He talks a mile-a-minute. At times, Alexander sounded like he was delivering a sermon, rather than answering questions.
Folks on Twitter were crowning him the interview king of the combine.
“I don’t really talk trash, I speak facts,” Alexander said. “I’m more skilled than any cornerback in this draft. I’m just telling you what it is, and what you’re not going to do to me. If you get one (catch), good, I gave you that. You didn’t beat me.”
Does he ever get tired of hearing himself talk?
“This is me,” Alexander said. “Imagine me on game day.”
“Do you ever take a breath?” someone asked Alexander.
“I just did,” Alexander said. “Thank you.”
The Ravens need help at cornerback, and Alexander could be a target if he falls into the second round. As much as Alexander talks, he has things to prove leading up the draft. Some scouts wonder if Alexander, listed at 5-foot-11, has the height to deal with taller NFL receivers. Meanwhile, Alexander did not have an interception in college, raising concern about his ball skills, even though many quarterbacks were reluctant to throw in his direction.
Blanketing top receivers one-on-one in coverage was Alexander’s specialty in college. Some mock drafts have Alexander ranked as the third best defensive back behind Jalen Ramsey of Florida St. and Vernon Hargreaves of Florida.
Alexander will not run the 40-yard dash at the combine, still bothered by a hamstring injury suffered in the national championship game. He plans to run at his pro day next month, and the Ravens figure to watch him closely.
If the Ravens don’t take a cornerback at No. 6, and Alexander is still on the board late in the first round, perhaps the Ravens would even consider trading up to get Alexander. That would suit him just fine.
“Having Jimmy Smith on the other side (playing the opposite corner), I would love it,” Alexander said. “He’s a good corner.”
What would Alexander think about facing Steve Smith in practice?
“It would be gritty,” Alexander said smiling. “We’d keep it professional, but it would be fun. It would definitely get chippy. Whoever does grab me is getting a first-round talent, both on and off the field.”
Whoever drafts Alexander will definitely be getting a talker.
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