NFL Hot Press: Teams View Vadal Alexander as a Guard

Teams View Vadal Alexander as a Guard

Updated Nov. 6, 2015
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

The most dominant player in college football this year has been LSU running back Leonard Fournette. The power runner is the leader for the Heisman Trophy and has commanded the Tigers to an undefeated record heading into their showdown with Alabama this Saturday. Obviously, Fournette has to have good blocking into order to dominate defenses, and the player who has received the most acclaim on the LSU offensive line is right tackle Vadal Alexander. As a senior, Alexander moved from guard to right tackle and while many in the media project Alexander to be a first-round pick, top evaluators believe that Alexander will have to move to guard in the NFL.

The 6-foot-6, 342-pound Alexander was effective at guard in 2014, playing next to La’el Collins. With Collins moving on to the NFL, right tackle Jerald Hawkins went to the left side, with Alexander moving to the right edge. This season, Alexander has opened a lot of holes for Fournette and generally has been pretty good in pass protection, but there have been plays and games where he looked shaky against speed rushers. Sources say that with his feet, body type, and skill set, they expect a move to guard is going to be necessary. One senior scout told me that he felt that Alexander’s weight was an issue that would need to be monitored steadily.

Perhaps Alexander can change that perception in the final stretch of his collegiate career. He certainly will see some good tests of defensive lineman. Alabama’s Jonathan Allen has been a dangerous pass rusher this season, for instance. In the penultimate game of the regular season, Alexander will take on Ole Miss, with defensive linemen Robert Nkemdiche and edge rusher Marquis Haynes. To end the season, Alexander will see the Texas A&M dynamic duo of Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall. If he is lights out the final month of the season, more evaluators will consider him as a potential right tackle, but right now, teams see him as moving to guard in the NFL.

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