We heard earlier today that the Vikings were looking to lock up one member of their 2016 draft class, defensive end Stephen Weatherly. Non-first round 2016 draft picks are set to be free agents after this season, so this is a natural time to begin discussing deals.
But while the Vikings have clearly made Weatherly a priority, a source told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link) that there haven’t been any such extension talks between Minnesota and Mackensie Alexander. Alexander, a cornerback, was a much earlier draft pick than Weatherly, as the Vikes took Alexander 54th overall out of Clemson in 2016. Despite his draft status, Alexander has struggled for consistent playing time because of the roadblocks in front of him on the depth chart.
That being said, he did play a very large role for the Vikings last year. He made 15 appearances and six starts, racking up 43 tackles, ten passes defended, and four sacks. Overall, he played just over 54 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. He received strong grades from Pro Football Focus, grading out as their 17th-best cornerback.
As of right now, he has Trae Waynes, 2018 first-rounder Mike Hughes, and Xavier Rhodes ahead of him. We’ve heard recently that the Vikings are listening to trade offers on Waynes and Rhodes, and Hughes is coming off an ACL tear, so they might end up needing Alexander. But as of right now, it doesn’t look like they’re dying to extend him.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.