Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Draft Prospect Outlook:
Exceptional mirroring skills. Ultra aware in zone. Drives rapidly on the football and is aggressive at the catch point. Plays bigger than his smaller stature. Can thrive in any type of coverage due to football IQ and athleticism. Should go in Round 1.
A three-star prospect from Charlotte, N.C., Rocky River High School, Alexander had been committed to South Carolina but flipped to the Cardinals after an official visit in early December. He was an early enrollee with the Cardinals and made an immediate impact during that spring campaign. He played in 12 games with one start as a true freshman and finished with 19 tackles and one interception. He was the team’s top punt returner at 9.7 yards a kick. In 2016, Alexander became one of the top cornerbacks in the country. He was named second team All-ACC and developed into one of the most physical and top cover cornerbacks in the country. Alexander started all 13 games and led U of L with five interceptions. He finished with 39 tackles, 14 pass break ups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. As a punt returner, Alexander averaged 16.2 yards on 20 returns, including a 69-yard punt return against Florida State.
Heading into the 2017 season, Alexander was considered one of the top players in the secondary but was limited because of injuries. He suffered a sprained knee late in the first half of the opener against Purdue when he attempted to return a blocked field goal. Alexander missed the next four games and then returned for two games, to record five tackles for the Cardinals. He missed another game with the knee injury and one more with a broken hand before returning for the final three regular-season games when he had 14 tackles and one interception. Alexander’s father said on Dec. 20 that he received a second-round draft grade and wasn’t in a hurry to make a decision on his future. But two days later he announced he was entering the draft and would skip the TaxSlayer Bowl where Louisville played Mississippi State.