The 2013 Senior Bowl started off with some fireworks, as a kick returner wearing a yellow and green helmet unfamiliar to most college football fans sped down the field to the 5 yard line. The helmet was the lid of a Lion from Southeastern Louisiana, and the player was Robert Alford. Alford is one of a handful of FCS (formerly Division I-AA) players in the Senior Bowl, and he stood out from the very first play.
Alford is not the biggest corner, only 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing in under 190 pounds. He does have the speed to make up for his perceived lack of size, posting a 40 yard dash anywhere from the 4.3 to 4.5 depending on the source, and he got a chance to show that speed at the Senior Bowl. Alford also got to show off his defensive skills, and showed why he was one of the top cornerbacks in FCS Football. He’s got great upper body strength and doesn’t mind getting in the face of receivers, and also has the ability to fight through blockers in blitzing situations. He’s obviously quick, but also knows how to cover a receiver and compete for the football. He has fought through serious injuries in the past, including a shoulder injury, so his pre-draft workouts and evaluations will need to provide evidence that he isn’t suffering from any long-term ailments. He also needs to make sure he sures up his ability to tackle, as NFL wide receivers are a lot tougher to bring down than Southland Conference receivers.
Alford tallied 10 career interceptions, returning one for a score. He also has a punt return for a touchdown in his collegiate career. He currently projects as a middle round pick, and could prove to be a viable option for the Buccaneers in the 2013 NFL draft.
Alford was just one of many players to make a name for himself at the Senior Bowl. What players did you see perform at the Senior Bowl that you want to see in red and pewter next year? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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