In 2014, the strength of the Cleveland Browns' defense was the secondary.
In 2016, the club is looking for help at cornerback.
The Browns met today with Mackensie Alexander, a top-notch corner out of Clemson.
The redshirt sophomore enjoyed a nice 2015 season before exiting the National Championship game due to injury. Even still, the 5'10, 190 pound prospect is regarded as a first rounder, according to CBSSports.com.
Known as a confident, even cocky, cornerback, Alexander called himself the best at his position in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft.
(On where he stacks up in this year’s cornerback class): "I’m a competitor, and they’re all competitors, but at the end of the day I’m going to say it – and a lot of you guys will say it – I’m the best corner in this draft class. You know what I mean? If you look at stats, my numbers, who I am as a person, who I’m competing against – I went against the best receivers in the country. I went against more of the top receivers than anybody in this draft class, and I’m going step for step. I’m not just moving outside, I’m going inside. I’m playing zone, I’m able to blitz, I’m able to show my versatility, everything."
(On his confidence): "I mean, this is me. This is me. Imagine me on game day."
(On importance of getting into WRs heads on the field): "You know, like I said before, my job is not to get in your head, but if I get in your head, then that’s on you. My job is to eliminate you, and make you go elsewhere, make you do different stuff. I’m a very patient guy. I don’t really, I get the memo that I talk a lot of trash. I don’t really talk trash, I speak facts. I just tell you what it is, and what you’re not going to do. If you get one, good. I gave you that. You didn’t beat me. So stuff like that. I just do my job. If they’re frustrated, that’s on them."
(On patience as a corner): "I mean, you’ve just got to practice that. You’ve got to go in there and practice, understand how a guy’s going to beat you. I always go to every game, and after every game I get off the bus – whether it’s home or away – and I’m watching film that same night. A lot of times, Coach [Dabo] Swinney will tell you, I don’t take showers. I get to it. I know what I’ve got to do. If I saw something in the game, if a guy caught a ball and he caught a comeback, all right, there’s only two things that happen next week. The offensive coordinator is thinking, ‘Wow, the guy, they tried him a couple times, but we only got the comeback on him.’ The offensive coordinator is automatically going to think [that]. I go back and watch at the formation, and the formations of how they caught that ball. Alabama tried to do the same thing this year in the national championship game. They looked at where I caught that ball. My thought process has been, ‘OK, let me break that down.’ I understand I gave that ball up, right? He caught that ball, he never beat me. That’s my mindset. He never beat me. I gave that up. Now, if he runs it again, I know I’m going to grab that. From a comeback point, if he runs a comeback, now there’s only two things. He’s going to run a comeback against that same formation next week coming out of the offensive coordinator, he’s planning to put that in the playbook, because it worked. Football is easy. Everybody copies each other. If a run play works, and it worked on us last week, that team will come back and use it again. So we have to prepare as a defense. So as a corner, I’ve got to prepare too to win against that. So if they run a comeback, now off that they’re going to run a comeback and go because they got me last week. Stuff like that, you can help yourself and practice that. Practice that so if it does happen, a lot of times I practice that stuff so when they do that route or something happens, I’ve prepared my body to understanding how to defend that route."
Alexander comes across as a over-confident player, but the Immokalee, Florida native definitely knows his stuff. Perhaps the Browns should consider Alexander in the upcoming draft.