How to identify the next breakout NFL superstar

How to identify the next breakout NFL superstar

NFL Draft Profile: Deslin Alexandre, Defensive End, Pittsburgh Panthers

NFL draft profile scouting report for Pittsburgh defensive end, Deslin Alexandre
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#5
Pos: DE
Ht: 6040
Wt: 280
DOB: 6/11/98
Eligible: 2022
Pompano Beach, FL
Deerfield Beach High School

Deslin Alexandre
Pittsburgh Panthers


Pros: 

Pulido: Deslin Alexandre is a super lengthy defensive end with a solid get-off and an above-average use of leverage. Alexandre uses his length well to gain leverage in the pass rush. He shows solid abilities to detach to set the edge in the run game. He has excellent lower-body explosion and drives into offensive linemen. He has solid ankle flexibility to bend around the corner and finish on the quarterback. He has shown a solid ability to move laterally and could eventually develop an excellent counter move.

Ezring: The 2021 Pittsburgh defensive line will likely see several players break out as NFL prospects. Of that group, Deslin Alexandre seems poised to make the largest jump. An above-average athlete, the defensive end flashes a quick first step with solid change of direction both in space and through engagement. When entering contact, Alexandre boasts heavy hands that consistently force offensive linemen onto their heels. His impressive upper body strength is enhanced when he gains leverage. The inexperienced defensive lineman typically leads with early and active hands. He exhibits a wide arsenal of pass rush moves that largely centers around his stellar length to stack, establish distance and control his opponents. Alexandre’s varied hand usage allows him to enter half-man engagement before finishing with power. He employs late counters when linemen make contact with his frame. Against the run, Alexandre displays patience and vision to keep his eyes locked on the ball. He uses his length and strong anchor to set the edge and window. Alexandre is a high-effort run defender capable of working through contact to the ball carrier and making tackles through engagement. He is a solid tackler thanks to his long arms and movement skills. At the next level, Alexandre projects favorably as a true defensive end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive front.

Cons:

Pulido: Alexandre is a raw pass rusher. He does not have a developed plan or developed moves. He doesn’t show much ability to convert power to speed or to counter. He has trouble with his hands if his initial move does not work. He currently uses his arms for leverage and that is all. He needs to learn more consistent swim and counter moves to become a dominant pass rusher.

Ezring: Despite his various promising traits, the rising fifth-year senior is an imperfect player. First and foremost, he is older than most 2022 NFL Draft prospects. What’s more, he played sparingly in 2020 after being buried on the depth chart behind bona fide NFL prospects. At the next level, teams may be concerned about his “tweener” frame. Alexandre’s incomplete understanding of leverage is by far the most deleterious aspect of his play. His high pad level reduces his power, balance and quickness. Further, the defensive end does not consistently sell his pass rushes. He regularly leads with his shoulder and gives up his chest, allowing opponents to easily wash him out of plays. Moreover, Alexandre is susceptible to trap techniques. Conversely, he does not practice sufficient variety and timing with his counters. Additionally, Alexandre’s lower body strength is underwhelming; consequently, his leg drive is largely ineffective. Without leverage, the Pittsburgh product’s power is somewhat limited. He is regularly knocked off balance. His tendency to lead with his shoulder exacerbates these issues. Tight ends and fullbacks even find success against the defensive end. Alexandre also displays a somewhat stiff frame. He struggles to bend through half-man engagement and does not corner well. Alexandre’s poor grip strength leads him to miss arm tackles too often.

Summary: 

Pulido: Deslin Alexandre was stuck behind two excellent Pitt Panthers in Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones in 2020. When he did get on the field he showed some flashes with athleticism, length and quickness. He used these to effect the passer with good cornering abilities. He affected the run game with his length and ability to shed blocks off the edge. Deslin Alexandre needs to work on his pass rush plan as it is still in development. He also needs to become less one-dimensional with his hands as they are predominantly used to create leverage. Deslin Alexandre is currently a late-day-three prospect that has upside to develop into a starter but will likely be a backup in the league.

Ezring: An intriguing athlete with a promising skillset, Deslin Alexandre boasts NFL-caliber length, movement skills and power. While he is extremely new to the sport and position, he employs a fairly wide arsenal of pass rush moves. That said, he is severely limited by his poor comprehension of leverage. While he will not be a serious contributor until he learns to drop his pad level, Alexandre has starting potential at defensive end in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.

Background: 

Born June 11th, 1998 in Deerfield Beach, Florida to parents Marise Saint-Louise and Destine Alexandre, Deslin Alexandre has three sisters and one brother. A basketball star for most of his life, the now-Pittsburgh Panther did not play football at Deerfield Beach High School, a Florida Class 8A program, until his junior year. He started each of his two seasons, helping the Bucks to a 20-5 record. In his senior year, Deerfield Beach posted a 10-3 record and made it to the semifinals of the Class 8A state playoffs. Alexandre received All-Broward County 8A-6A Honorable Mention. Despite having played just two years of football, the Florida native received a three-star rating from 247Sports Composite Rankings. The same outlet named him the 1118th recruit nationally, the 55th-overall strong-side defensive end in his class and the 163rd-best recruit from Florida in his year. Alexandre enrolled early at Pittsburgh and participated in spring games. That said, he redshirted his freshman year and did not play in any games. In 2018, Alexandre played in 13 games as a reserve defensive end and special teamer. He made five tackles and one tackle for loss. As a redshirt sophomore in 2019, the Deerfield Beach product had his best season to date. He started all thirteen games and recorded 38 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. Alexandre was named to the All-ACC Academic Football Team. As a redshirt junior, the standout defensive end played in all 11 games but started just two behind Patrick Jones II (2021 third-round pick) and Rashad Weaver (2021 fourth-round pick). He recorded 18 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery. He was named to the All-ACC Academic Football Team for the second straight year. Alexandre has experienced a noteworthy body transformation since the beginning of his football career. The 230-pound recruit was up to 255 pounds as a true freshman. By his redshirt freshman year, he was 270 pounds. After a slight drop to 265 during his redshirt sophomore season, Alexandre was back to 270 in 2020. Entering 2021, the promising defensive end is listed at 285 pounds. An academic standout, Alexandre has earned his bachelor’s degree in communication and is now enrolled in the Katz Graduate School of Busines. 


One-Liners

Pulido: Deslin Alexandre is a backup caliber defensive end in a 4-3 scheme that can use his bend and flexibility to corner off the edge and affect the passer. He uses his leverage and block shed to set the edge in the run game.

Ezring: Still relatively new to the sport, Deslin Alexandre boasts NFL-caliber length, movement skills and power; he must learn to drop his pad level before he can reliably contribute at the next level.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Pulido: 7.2 / 8.2

Ezring: 6.7 / 7.9


#5
Pos: DE
Ht: 6040
Wt: 280
DOB: 6/11/98
Eligible: 2022
Pompano Beach, FL
Deerfield Beach High School

Deslin Alexandre
Pittsburgh Panthers


Pros: 

Pulido: Deslin Alexandre is a super lengthy defensive end with a solid get-off and an above-average use of leverage. Alexandre uses his length well to gain leverage in the pass rush. He shows solid abilities to detach to set the edge in the run game. He has excellent lower-body explosion and drives into offensive linemen. He has solid ankle flexibility to bend around the corner and finish on the quarterback. He has shown a solid ability to move laterally and could eventually develop an excellent counter move.

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