Mackensie Alexander leaning toward applying for draft entry

Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander's performance in the College Football Playoff could be his last for the Tigers.

The third-year sophomore is leaning toward applying for early entry into the 2016 NFL Draft, according to NFL Media's Rand Getlin. Alexander was shut out in the interception department this season. In fact, he has yet to record an interception in his CU career after two seasons on the field, but his ability to handle receivers in man coverage was recognized last month when he was selected first-team All-ACC at cornerback.

And he doesn't lack for confidence.

Alexander (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) called himself the best cornerback in college football at the beginning of the season. He'll get a chance to prove it if he makes his way into next year's draft. Alexander has recorded 10 pass breakups in his career. With outstanding quickness and two years of starting experience, he would deepen the draft pool at a premium position if he follows through with his intention. Underclassmen have until a Jan. 18 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility.

Another underclassman in the Clemson secondary, safety Jayron Kearse, is also leaning toward leaving the college ranks after the season. The two will get a stiff test in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and his top receiver, Sterling Shepard, in a CFP semifinal game on Dec. 31.

Clemson might also be looking to replace star defensive end Shaq Lawson, who has said he intends to apply for early draft entry.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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