By Evan Redmon
July 12, 2018
Redskins defensive backs coach Torrian Gray coached at Virginia Tech for 11 seasons before the Redskins gave him an opportunity in the NFL. It seems no coincidence, then, that two of the three Hokies drafted by Washington this year – Adonis Alexander and another 6th round pick Greg Stroman – were former cornerbacks under Gray’s tutelage.
Alexander probably doesn’t get drafted without Gray’s presence.
Adonis was declared academically ineligible for what would have been his final season at VaTech. That’s red flag number one.
Furthermore, he was arrested for weed in 2016. While marijuana is pretty much on the way to becoming legal in the United Stats, it’s still a big no-no on both the college and pro levels of football. So that’s definitely red flag number two.
According to The Sporting News however, Alexander claims he has passed “eight or nine” drug tests since that charge. One has to assume that Gray stood on the table for his former pupil or the Redskins would have passed due to character concerns.
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Adonis Alexander is probably smiling even wider now after being selected by the Redskins
Adonis Alexander has the size, but does he have the speed?
The Redskins seem to be favoring bigger corners these days.
In 2017, they drafted Fabian Moreau out of UCLA in the 3rd round. Moreau stands at an even 6 feet and weighs just around 200 pounds. Now they have the 6′ 2″ Alexander to compliment him. That will help him deal with the NFL’s larger receivers.
However, his speed is a concern. At his pro day workout on the VT campus, Alexander clocked in at 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is probably why he fell to the 6th round. His vertical jump was similarly ho-hum at 35.5″, compared to the 41.5″ that his fellow Hokie DB Terrell Edmunds put up at the 2017 combine.
Redskins draftee Troy Apke did the 3-cone drill in 6.56 seconds. Alexander completed his in 7.18 seconds. That’s a big discrepancy.
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I know Alexander has some versatility. Some talk by other teams about S… But Sounds like Skins like him best at corner. If better time in 40, likely gone higher so Skins rather fired up getting him in 6th. (now lose a 6th round pick in spring)
— John Keim (@john_keim) July 11, 2018
Where does Adonis Alexander fit in with the Redskins?
The Redskins are surely in a state of flux at the cornerback position. They lost Bashaud Breeland to free agency and Kendall Fuller in the Alex Smith trade. They then brought in longtime Cowboy Orlando Scandrick to take on a – as of yet – unidentified role.
That leaves Quinton Dunbar, Josh Norman and Joshua Hosley as the remaining corners along with Stroman, Moreau, and Alexander. One has to wonder if Norman’s big contract will make him a cap casualty in the near future.
If that does prove to be the case, then it comes obvious why the team wanted another body at the DB position. In all likelihood, the Redskins will keep Norman, Dunbar, Scandrick, Hosley and Moreau on the final 53-man roster.
That puts Adonis Alexander as a probable practice squad member, where he will develop for a year to help offset the possible departure of Norman in 2019.