Another day, another prospect interview by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but this time it wasn't a quarterback who was being grilled -- it was a cornerback.
As Steelers fans everywhere take a collective breath and mumble, "Yesss" at their office desks, the Steelers have finally shown some love to one of the weakest areas of the team's defense heading into 2016 -- cornerback.
In fact, with William Gay, Brandon Boykin and Antwon Blake all prepared to hit the free agent market in less than 10 days, there is a strong possibility the Steelers' cornerback depth chart will look completely different next season. Returning is Ross Cockrell, Senquez Golson and Doran Grant. That's it.
Most believe the team will address the cornerback position in the draft, for the second year in a row after drafting Golson in the 2nd round in 2015, but will they pull the trigger on a cornerback with the 25th overall pick? They could, and if they decide to do so, Mackensie Alexander from Clemson wouldn't be a bad pick.
The team met with the talented defensive back Monday, but many project Alexander will be long gone by the time the Steelers select with the 25th overall pick. Nonetheless, what does Mackensie bring to the table which has him projected as a first round pick? He is one of the few natural outside cornerbacks, not a slot corner who could transition to the outside.
Alexander is lauded for his quick feet, smooth hips and ability to play tight man coverage when on an "island". However, with the good comes the bad, and most will immediately point to his height (5-feet 10-inches) as a red flag. Steelers fans know all too well about a cornerback's height being the crux of criticism, as Golson experienced that in 2015 due to him being below the 6-foot standard for cornerbacks.
Sometimes smaller players can play big. Golson is one of those, and so is Alexander. Alexander is drawing comparisons to Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers with his ball skills and tenacity within the framework of the game. Pretty lofty comparisons for a young man, but if he is on the board when the Steelers select in the 2016 NFL Draft, they would be wise to consider adding him to their roster, even in the first round.