Photo of Robert Alford
Grade
81.0 ?
  • 4.39 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 17 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 40.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 132.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.89 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.23 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 5'10" Height
  • 32" Arm Length
  • 188LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/2" Hands

Overview

If Alford wants to find out how difficult it can be to make it in the NFL, all he has to do is ask his older brother. Fred Booker, was a three-year starting cornerback at LSU, but had to play in NFL Europe, the AFL, and get chances with multiple teams in training camp before finally playing 12 games (nine tackles) with the New Orleans Saints in the 2005 season. Alford does have superior talent to Booker, however, so scouts are thinking he can make more of an impact on defense.



Alford was not only a first-team all-district receiver in Louisiana, but he also finished second in the 400-meter dash at the state high school track meet in 2007. He didn’t play his first year on the SLU campus in 2008, but got into the starting line-up nine times in 10 games the following year (46 tackles, interception, five pass breakups). Alford also sat out in 2010 with a shoulder injury, then came back with a vengeance for his junior campaign, earning second-team All-Southland Conference honors by picking off five passes and breaking up seven others. Finally, as a senior, Alford picked off four passes, and was named to the All-Southland Conference first-team.

Analysis

Strengths

Possesses adequate height and sufficient upper-body strength to play outside in the NFL. Consistently competitive at the line in press coverage and downfield on jump balls, even against larger receivers. Has fluid hips and quick feet to open up and run down the sideline, as well as a smooth backpedal to maintain cushion. Stays low in man off the snap to mirror his target’s route. Aware zone defender who sees and attacks the underneath route. Good closing speed to the receiver when playing off, usually finishes the tackle. Flashes quickness to avoid blocks in the run game, brings some attitude to ride down running backs. Used in the slot, primarily as a blitzer because of his speed and tenacity. Shows ball skills, vertical, and concentration to snatch throws in front of or over the top of his man, and can make the easy catch as a center fielder in zone.

Weaknesses

Gives up size to outside receivers, is pushed backwards by aggressive players on run plays or when in press; he needs to get his hands up more quickly to get in the first shot in those situations. Inconsistent in his effectiveness as a tackler, will be slow to cut or throw a shoulder instead of wrapping against better ballcarriers. Overaggressive in his angles in run support, giving up the sideline instead of forcing plays inside.

NFL Comparison

Corey Graham

Bottom Line

The younger brother of former NFL player Fred Booker possesses all of the tools to follow the family path to the professional level. Alford missed a season due to a shoulder injury, but is one of the more physical cornerbacks in the country, and looked absolutely dominant at times during his senior year. His willingness to press, compete for balls downfield, and support the run –- as well as fair size, overall athleticism, and potential return ability will make him a highly sought-after player.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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