In the seventh round, and with their final pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected LSU guard Vadal Alexander...
Position: Offensive guard
College: Lousiana State
Weight: 326 pounds
Selection: Seventh round, No. 234 overall
ALAMEDA -– The Raiders took guard Vadal Alexander midway through the seventh round. Look the LSU behemoth up on some draft magazines and websites, and they had him going much higher.
NFL.com had him projected for third round. Other publications had ranked high among the offensive guards. He slipped a great distance, but it wasn’t for work ethic. Alexander is a slower guard, which may have knocked him down some.
“I was surprised that I lasted this long,” Alexander said. “I’m not really sure why, and it’s something I really look forward to asking my agent. But, right now, I’m happy to be a Raider. I’m going to put the work in and go. It doesn’t matter why, it just matters that I made it.”
He fits the Raiders mold for interior linemen. He’s a powerful player coming in at 6-foot-5, 326 pounds. He’s a road grader with a nasty streak especially in the run game, though some analysts knock his pass-blocking skill.
Former NFL executive Gil Brandt chimed in on Alexander after the Raiders took him No. 234 overall, offered high praise and compared him to another large, Raiders offensive lineman.
I like the Alexander pick by Oakland. Had 4th-round grade on him. Reminds me some of Raiders' third-rounder a few years ago, Gabe Jackson.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 30, 2016
The Raiders will also prize his versatility. Alexander played left guard for two seasons and right tackle for two others, including his senior season. He’s projected as an inside player as the NFL, but swing players last on this team. He should have a real chance to make the team despite his draft status.
“I can fit into their offense because I’m very versatile,” Alexander said. “I can play in multiple schemes. I’m looking forward to doing whatever they need me to do.”