There are only 38 days until the 2018 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 26. Until then, we’re going to kill some time with our weekly Mock Draft Monday series.
Last week, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar had the Eagles taking a certain unathletic offensive tackle at No. 32 overall. This week, the Eagles are taking a defensive player in the first round.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville - Although Philadelphia added Daryl Worley, he’s not a great slot replacement for the departed Patrick Robinson. Alexander would be. He’s a fluid athlete in coverage, and is more than willing to be aggressive and lay a hit.
With Robinson gone, slot cornerback is one of the biggest question marks on the Eagles’ roster.
One would think the Eagles might plan to shift one of their young corners to the nickel role. But if Philadelphia was so genuinely confident in doing that, why did they show so much interest in re-signing Robinson?
None of the Eagles’ current corners are clear cut replacements for Robinson. It’s been suggested that Jalen Mills could take over in that role, and it’s possible that’s what the Eagles plan to do.
The coaching staff tried Mills as a nickel corner in spring practices last year. That experiment didn’t last long, however, and it was never revisited after that point.
And so the Eagles would probably be wise to bring someone in who projects to be a natural fit for the slot corner role.
Alexander could fit the bill for the Eagles. Scouting report from NFL.com:
Draft Projection: Rounds 2-3
NFL Comparison: Teez Tabor
Bottom Line: Twitchy and quick, Alexander is an instinctive cornerback with the ability to anticipate routes and the quickness to close on throws and make plays on the ball. He tape in 2017 was uneven due to issues with a sprained knee which could raise concerns over his durability considering his slender build. When healthy, he has the potential to become a second cornerback, but teams may view him as a full time nickel cornerback who is able to avoid the rigors of excessive run support.
In three years at Louisville, Alexander had 77 tackles, 15 passes defensed, seven interceptions, and one forced fumble. Five of his picks came during 2016.
Alexander measures in at 5-10, 196 pounds. He put up some good testing numbers at the NFL Combine. Via Mockdraftable:
As I’ve said before, I can’t see the Eagles taking a designated slot corner at No. 32. If anything, perhaps he could be a target if the Birds trade out of the first round.
What do you think of this week’s pick?