Robert Alford is a cornerback from Southeastern Louisiana University, a NCAA Division I FCS program in the Southland Conference. Alford is in his senior season and will be entering the 2013 NFL draft. He is a prototype sized NFL cornerback at 5’11” and 184 pounds. Alford ran a blistering 4.33 second 40-yard dash and that speed will make NFL teams take notice.
The Senior Bowl put out a preseason watch list for the first time in 2012 and Alford made the list. It will be very interesting to see Alford line up and play against better competition in Mobile as his stock could soar with a nice performance at the Senior Bowl.
There are a few videos attached to this interview and it is easy to see Alford jump off the screen because he never gets beat and his play-making ability is off the charts. Alford has a bright future ahead of him and I was happy to get a chance to talk with him during his senior season.
The first thing we talked about was how he felt in making the Senior Bowl watch list.
“It feels good knowing that I came from a small school. I had a lot of people like telling me that it wasn't possible for me to make all those accolades and become that big because I was competing against all the big schools like LSU, Arkansas and those big teams. I just give the praise to God and give thanks that he blessed me to be on the watch list.”
We talked about his senior season and what his goals were for the year. I asked him what he wanted to show NFL evaluators when they looked at tape of him from his senior year.
“I just want to put up good tape, showing that I can lock down, I can play man, I can play off, I can play zone. I can do punt returns, kick returns, whatever the team needs that picks me in the draft”
I asked him about his favorite moment as a college athlete.
“It was in the McNeese State game this year. Towards the end of the game I came away with the winning interception. It was a one-handed snag. It was my first time ever catching an interception one-handed.”
We talked about the different schemes that are used in coverage and how he fits into each of them. I asked him to describe his specialties as a football player.
"What you are going to get with me is a person is going to work hard. A person that is willing to get better at his technique and his craft, and just an all-around competitor. I like to be all one-on-one and I mean I like to be covering the No. 1 receiver. I just like all that pressure for me because I feel that I can handle all that and fulfill my potential.”
Alford describes himself as a player who is willing to do whatever it takes for the team that drafts him.
“I promise that whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do it 100 percent.”
I asked him about his thoughts on the draft process and whether he expected to get drafted in the 2013 NFL draft.
“I’m just like any other player, everybody expects to get drafted. I have high expectations of myself, so yes; you could say I expect to get drafted.”
I asked him what making the NFL means to him. How big of a dream would it be for you to get drafted and make it in the NFL?
“It would be a big dream. I mean, ever since I’ve been playing football at the age of 12, I always been looking forward to playing in the NFL. I always told my mama ever since I had started that, that I was going to make it in the NFL so that would be a big dream of mine. I'm pretty sure on draft day if I get drafted that I am going to show some emotion.”
Alford is the kind of player that teams will fall in love with at the All-Star games after the regular season is over. He has good size and great athleticism and he can run incredibly well. With every passing year, smaller-school cornerbacks inch their way up the NFL draft.
Alford is going to be one of the small-school cornerbacks to get drafted this year. It’s easy to see it happening after watching his play jump off the screen. He is an extremely confident football player, and he is confident that his skills will get him drafted in 2013. I would not bet against him.
Scott Bischoff is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials.