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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#103 - Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma

Very busy around the homestead this week, and it's a long offseason.  I'll try to update on my thoughts of the 3rd day picks as I'm able. 

Acquired this pick in trade with the 49ers, who got our 6th round pick and our
future 3rd.  Alexander is a tall, lean prospect whose playing weight was 255, but
showed up at combine at an athletic 270.  He's a tall-enough 6'4, with a long reach
and decent separation ability with his hands.  He does have to stay low, but does
well when he does contact low and can get to the part where he would separate.

Alexander isn't the same prospect as Quentin Coples, but he has many of the same
attributes and production.
Quinton Coples - 30.5 TFL, 17.5 sacks
Frank Alexander - 32 TFL, 15.5 sacks

Quinton Coples Combine - 4.71 40, 25 BP, 4.79 20s, 31.5" VJ, 7.61 3cone
Frank Alexander Pro Day - 4.76 40, 24 BP, 4.59 20s, 34.5" VJ, 7.48 3cone

Quinton Coples - 6-5 3/4, 284, 10 1/4" hands, 33 1/4" arms, 80 1/8" wingspan
Frank Alexander - 6-3 3/4, 270, 9 3/4" hands, 35" arms, 83 1/8" wingspan

Ron Rivera talked about Alexander in the "rotation", so they seem to have him
penciled in for those 25 or so snaps in relief of Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson. 
He's not going to play the 5-technique in 3-4 alignments so he'll be a likely
candidate to play OLB in those sets if he's on the field. Alexander does have experience rushing from OLB as well.  But I wouldn't count out Alexander being a guy who's starting in two years, when Hardy's rookie contract is up. 

Marty Hurney made it clear that the team had traded up in the 4th to get to Alexander (though that comes with the caveat that they either had to believe the 49ers were going to take the pick, or that the trade was to get both Adams and Alexander).

But Hurney was talking about trading into the 3rd, as soon as they'd come out to talk about the 2nd round pick.  It's not definite that Hurney was looking to get Alexander (if I had to guess, I'd wonder about Trumaine Johnson, CB; I have no backing for that, but Johnson was one of Carolina's visits). 

But, Greg Brannon recently mentioned on an airing of PantherTalk, after describing the team's war room and how their rankings clearly had, for instance, Amini Silatolu as the 'obvious' highest rated guy on the board.  He goes on to mention that Alexander had an "old 2nd day grade", meaning they had him at least a round higher, which would put him late 2nd, early 3rd (in other words, top 50 to top 75).  

It's hard to say if the trade will be worth it - I'm not (and am never) in favor of trading future picks for current picks, but the equity in trade isn't awful.  A price of one round higher is typical when renting a pick a year early. .

Alexander has to earn his on the field, but he looks like a tremendous player who'll help step up the rush game immediately for Carolina. 
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