2012 Dallas Cowboys Sleeper Prospects 2: “The Guys No One Is Talking About”

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Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma

Oct 8, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive end Frank Alexander (84) pressures Texas Longhorns quarterback David Ash (14) for the red river rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

6-4  270  4.76  40

One of the biggest problems of late with the Cowboys has been the pass rush. They have some big physical guys who are solid against the run, but one thing that has been lacking is speed off of the edge. Being that Rob ryan likes to use an array of different fronts including the 4-3 quite often in the Nickel package, it makes sense to add add a high motor, every down rusher type like Alexander. he has the I deal tall lanky frame and the wing span defensive line coaches dream about. He will need to bulk up a bit if he is to be an every down DE to include being on the 3-4 front instead of just a rotational player in the nickel. He has been used standing up in Oklahoma but wasn’t asked to drop in to coverage much. If you want to use him as a 3-4 OLB he would have to be used as an every down rusher until his coverage skills cane be fine tuned. Either way, to me, he is a steal as a 7th round to undrafted prospect.

Football was the last thing on Alexander’s mind as doctors at the Combine found a previously undiagnosed heart condition that kept the defensive end from working out in Indianapolis. But after furthers tests, those reports have proven to be false and he was able to participate in Oklahoma’s pro day . He performed well in every drill, including a 4.76 40-yard dash time. Alexander also looked fluid in the 20-yard short shuttle (4.57), 3-cone drill (7.55), vertical jump (34.5″) and broad jump (9’9″). He posted 24 reps on the bench press and measured well with 35 1/4-inch arm length and 83 1/2-inch wingspan. Alexander, who posted a career-best 8.5 sacks last year, will be a very good value on the third day of the draft.

Alexander has fluid footwork to redirect and change his momentum, showing good pursuit and chase skills with closing burst – plays fast and doesn’t let up. He has quick get-off speed and is routinely the first defensive lineman off the ball – very good snap anticipation, timing-up the snap count. Alexander flashes strength at the point of attack with active, violent hand usage and doesn’t give up on his pass rush – forceful with his upper body to defeat blocks. He plays with very good effort and energy – strong hustle player and doesn’t quit on plays. Alexander is aggressive with good awareness to track the ball and attack. He is tenacious and tough, showing an improved intensity and motor. Alexander is competitive and versatile, lining up in either the two or three-point stance and moving inside to the three-technique in passing situations – very good at gaining inside leverage by shooting the gaps. He showed improvement against the run as a senior, holding contain and playing stout at the point of attack. Alexander does a nice job elevating and getting his hands into the passing lanes to deflect passes (14 career passes broken up in college). He had an extremely productive senior season, tallying team-highs in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (19.0) … awarded as the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12. – Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

The finale of my story is on the next page…..

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