Maurice Alexander, S, Utah State (HT: 6’1¼”; WT: 220 lbs)
Fourth Round: 110th Pick
|6012||220||32 1/2"||8 3/4"|
|40-yard dash||10-yd split||Vert||Broad||3-Cone||Shuttle|
- Excellent size and frame for an NFL safety. Since he is a former linebacker, he possesses a physical mind frame to match his stature.
- Hard-hitting, impact safety that makes his presence felt to receivers that go across the middle of the field on routes.
- Shows great blitzing ability with his quickness and length. He can diagnose plays efficiently and attack the open gaps to get to the ball-carrier.
- Good wrap-up tackler more often than not and can deliver big hits in the secondary. Tackling efficiently will be the key for Alexander as a run-stopping safety in the NFL.
- Flashes the ability to close quickly on the ball, giving him upside as a deep, Cover 2 safety as he gains experience. More NFL teams are asking their safeties to be “mirror” players, able to play up high in coverage and as a run-stopper, so Alexander will have to continue growing.
- Sees the field well, as he will locate the direction of the play quickly and attack. His efficiency at the position despite inexperience is impressive.
- Came back from adversity to be a team leader in 2013, seemingly overcoming the issues that led to missing the 2012 season.
- After he played linebacker in 2011, he was suspended for 2012 after pleading guilty to an assault charge. Alexander then returned in 2013 lighter, so he was moved to a linebacker and safety hybrid. As such, he’s relatively inexperienced.
- At best, he can cover one-third or half of the field as a high safety because of his limited play-recognition ability. Most of his development needs to happen mentally, because his inexperience puts him behind where he needs to be to start quickly.
- Doesn’t pursue the ball in coverage, instead going for the hit. The NFL wants players who force turnovers, not just safeties who tackle, so his instincts also need time to develop.
- Lateral agility as a safety is limited due to physical profile, so he might not be able to line up against small, quick slot receivers.
- Suspended for the 2012 season due to an off-the-field incident that led to him pleading guilty to assault.
- Majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
- Transferred to Utah State from Arizona Western College.
Maurice Alexander is one of the better developmental safeties in the 2014 NFL draft because of his rare size and speed. He’s essentially a small linebacker at this point in time, but if he can learn to play safety more effectively in coverage, he can be a very good player in the NFL.
Alexander needs to go to a situation where he can get repetitions in practice and watch from the sidelines during games so he can fine-tune his football IQ.
Draft Projection: 4th-5th Round