NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah released the fourth version of his first-round mock draft on Monday and after previously predicting that the Pittsburgh Steelers would select Eastern Kentucky edge-rusher Noah Spence 25th overall, he has now reverted back to Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander as their selection just as he did back in his second version.
This time Jeremiah writes of the selection:
The Steelers have a need at the position and Alexander answered some questions at his pro day.
After only being able to lift at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine because of a supposed hamstring injury, Alexander reportedly ran between 4.41 and 4.48-seconds in the 40-yard dash at Clemson’s recent pro day. Additionally, the 5103, 190-pound underclassman recorded a 37.5-inch vertical during his pro day workout to go along with a three-cone drill time of 7.17-seconds and a 37.5-inch vertical jump.
“My hands were a question and my speed was a question and I checked both of them off today,” Alexander reportedly said after his pro day was completed. “I ran really well. I’ve got good speed, got good hands and I showcased that today.”
While Alexander did have 11 pass breakups during his final two seasons at Clemson, he didn’t record any interceptions and as a result of that, his ball-skills have been questioned over the course of the last several weeks. The fact that he’s also closer to 5’10” than 5″11″ is also a concern when it comes to him potentially being a first-round selection.
The Steelers reportedly met with Alexander while they were in Clemson so there’s definitely some interest in him. While the team certainly could use another young cornerback, it’s still hard to imagine that they will ultimately wind up drafting one in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft and especially being as they haven’t done such a thing since 1997.
Jeremiah has Alexander as the third cornerback being drafted in the first round and one spot ahead of Ohio State’s Eli Apple, who he has going to the Seattle Seahawks at 26th overall. After Apple, Jeremiah has Houston’s William Jackson III and Miami’s Artie Burns as the other two cornerbacks being selected in the first round.