INDIANAPOLIS -- Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander hasn't done a single drill yet, but he's already won one title at the NFL Scouting Combine: best interview. The outspoken Alexander, who played just two seasons at CU before exiting as a redshirt sophomore, was the most outspoken and engaging of any prospect to take a podium yet at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Naturally, one of the first questions was one of the toughest, particularly for a player who has legitimate hopes of being a first-round pick in two months: If he's so good, why didn't he come up with a single interception in his entire college career?
"I had some opportunities to come up with some picks in my career. I didn't come up with them at the end of the day. I'm taking it like a man. In a lot of my situations, I wasn't challenged very much," Alexander said. "A lot of quarterbacks on teams stayed away from me, and that was their game plan, really. That's it, really. That's how I answer that."
Confidence exudes from Alexander, an asset at a position that can perhaps least afford any lack of it.
"I'm 22, but I'm ready to compete with anybody. There's nobody more dedicated than me, who's put more time in or is more of a competitor than me. ... I'm here prepared. I'm telling you I'm the best corner in this draft class," Alexander said.
When pressed as to why, he spoke of his belief that he'll be able to nullify NFL receivers in press coverage with no safety help, something defensive coordinators would covet highly.
"If I'm going against (Laquon) Treadwell, which I've studied, I know who he is, I haven't played against him, my game plan is -- he's a big guy, he uses his body real well -- (like) another guy we have at Clemson, Mike Williams. Same personnel (type). He's not very fast, but you know they're going to give you what they've got. They're very aggressive, very physical, they snatch the ball in the air. I'm taking away what they do best. I'm taking those jump balls away," Alexander said.
"If I'm covering Will Fuller, I know he's a deep vertical guy. He just ran 4.3, I'm proud of him. He's a fast guy. I'm fast too," he said. "But I know he's a vertical guy. If I take his vertical game away, I wouldn't say he sucked, but he's not that good. You force (Notre Dame coach Brian) Kelly to go to the screen game, which they did against us a lot, just to get him touches. Feed him some kind of way."
That's a mouthful, but Alexander bristled at the notion that he's got a reputation for trash-talking.
"I speak facts only," he said.
And here's another one: There's probably not a player at the combine who believes in himself more.