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Scouting Report
No player has been drafted out of Southeastern Louisiana since punter Bret Wright in 1984, but Alford is all but certain to change that following strong showings at the Senior Bowl and NFL combine. A three-year standout for the Lions, Alford missed the 2010 season due to neck stingers but returned to compile nine interceptions and 15 passes defensed over the past two years. While he must deal with the inevitable questions about the huge jump from FCS-level competition to the NFL, Alford's physical gifts should reassure scouts. He ranked in the top five among cornerbacks at the combine in the 40-yard dash (4.39 seconds), bench press (17 reps), vertical jump (40.0 inches) and broad jump (11 feet). That combination of speed, strength and athleticism is hard to find, and Alford has already displayed such good instincts and versatility in coverage that a quick adjustment seems possible. He doesn't hesitate to be physical and aggressive, and while tackling may be one area where he could stand to improve, he has great hands and a nose for the ball. Alford has also shown explosiveness in the return game, and as an older rookie, he could be better prepared than most to learn the lessons that go along with the professional game. His wide variety of assets may be enough for him to overcome his small-school background and force his way into the first half of the draft - and help an NFL defense soon.