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2016 NFL Draft Grades: Mackensie Alexander Reaction

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In the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings made a slightly surprising pick when they tabbed Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander with the 54th overall selection. I had the Arizona Cardinals taking Alexander with the 30th pick in my mock draft, and he was 29th on our Daily Norseman Community Big Board, so getting him at #54 was a pretty good value.

What did the experts around the internet think of the pick? Well, let's take a spin and find out.

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report - A

Take note of the recall Alexander had of receivers he faced, without being prompted, weeks after the games ended. You don't remember tendencies, game plan concepts, the names of opposing coaches and so on without having done a lot of detailed game preparation. Alexander clearly does his film work and knows what's going on in the meeting room. Those are the traits (as well as quickness and physicality in press coverage, of course) that make an exceptional NFL cornerback.

A lot was made of the fact that Alexander never intercepted a pass in college. I could cite Pro Football Focus stats or link up some game tape to show that Alexander's receivers were rarely thrown to. But just read that transcript again: does that sound like a cornerback who cannot intercept passes to you?

Doug Farrar, Sports Illustrated - A+

How Alexander dropped to the end of the second round is a mystery, except to say that a lot of teams have biases against 5' 10" cornerbacks when they shouldn't. Alexander is the best man coverage cornerback in this class, and he'll be a perfect fit in Mike Zimmer's aggressive defense. In the slot or outside, Alexander is at least a round better than this pick would indicate.​

Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football - A+

Wow, what a steal. Mackensie Alexander would've been a first-round pick if he didn't have the sort of character concerns that Tony Pauline reported about a week ago. Alexander doesn't fill an immediate need, but he was just way too talented to pass up. Also, it should be noted that the Vikings will have some corners hitting free agency after 2016, so Alexander could step in and start in 2017.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - B+

They get a man-cover player who had to be great value because it's not a glaring need. Good player.

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus - A

No. 21 on the PFF Draft Board, Alexander is strong in man coverage and his movement skills allow him to stay with shifty receivers. The Clemson scheme did him no favors from a grading standpoint, but he allowed only 0.66 yards per cover snap, good for 10th in the class. He struggles with zone concepts at times, missing tackles in open space, but Alexander is a good pick at this point in the draft.

Dan Kadar, SB Nation - A

Cornerback Mackensie Alexander fell too far in the draft, all the way down to the Vikings with pick No. 54. Maybe it was because of size, or the reports about him having poor team interviews was true. That benefits the Vikings who get a top 20 talent. Alexander is better than a few of the cornerbacks who were picked in the first round. With Alexander's obvious talent in Mike Zimmer's defense, it's a safe bet to think he'll be a good player. The only criticism is that the Vikings still need to address the offensive line and that Alexander is likely a nickel corner in that defense.

Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports - B+

Seeing him fall out of Round 1 was not stunning, but this is a bit farther than imagined. This is interesting because the Vikings have two big corners on the outside, and Alexander hasn't played a lot in the slot. Another thing: ball skills. The next interception he gets will be his first since high school. But he's a highly confident, physical corner who will support the run and get in receivers' faces, no matter the size. Mike Zimmer could get the best out of him.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com - A

Day 1 grade: A
Day 2 grade: A
Overall grade: A
The skinny: General manager Rick Spielman got the most physical receiver in the draft in Treadwell. There's no reason he won't be a to-go guy for Teddy Bridgewater. Alexander is an excellent defender, even without the turnover production. Then Spielman picked up two 2017 mid-round selections from Miami. That's building draft capital.

Overall, it would appear that people think the Vikings got themselves a pretty darn good player. We'll add more grades to this list as they come in.

What do you think about the selection of Mackensie Alexander, everyone? Go ahead and hit the poll below.