Mackensie Alexander could make a big impact for the Bengals

Blake Jewell

The Bengals made multiple offseason moves in hopes of improving their defense.

They spent four of their seven draft picks on defensive players. They also added six defensive players in free agency, including five projected starters.

Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander was an under the radar, but key addition. The 26-year-old signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Bengals in March.

Alexander will fill the void that Darqueze Dennard left behind as the starting nickel cornerback.

Last season, he had zero missed tackles and was the fourth best tackling corner in the league according to Pro Football Focus.

He spent the first four years of his career in Minnesota after the Vikings selected him in the second-round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Clemson product appeared in 55 games, making 10 starts. He transitioned to the nickel role after Terrence Newman retired two years ago.

Alexander has good speed, impressive ball skills, and is a great tackler. The 5-10, 192-pound defensive back has ideal size for a slot corner and uses quick bursts of speed to make open field tackles and close down on ball carriers.

Alexander is a student of the game and is constantly working to improve. Bengals fans will notice his swagger and confidence on and off the field. His approach aligns well with Zac Taylor’s vision for the new era of Cincinnati football.

Alexander will be working with a familiar face. The Bengals signed Trae Waynes, who spent the first five seasons of his career in Minnesota. The duo should pair well with William Jackson III. Cincinnati also signed safety Vonn Bell in free agency.

The defensive overhaul is a welcome sight. Alexander is a key piece that should have an instant impact in Cincinnati.

The new look Bengals’ secondary will be tested early in the 2020 season, as they face Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in their first two games of the year.

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