The Bucs hit a home run last year with drafting Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston first overall. Little did they know they would draft Winston’s defensive clone three rounds later.
Middle linebacker Kwon Alexander was a special player in 2015. His rookie season was filled with splash plays Tampa Bay’s defense hadn’t seen in some time from that position. Alexander earned Rookie of the Week honors in Weeks 3 and 8 last season as well as Defensive Player of the Week for his emotional Week 8 performance against division rival Atlanta Falcons.
His fire and passion stood out on the defensive side of the ball and because of it, many feel he is much like Winston in that aspect — including general manager Jason Licht.
“He’s one guy, he is ultra-passionate. He’s a lot like Jameis in a lot of ways. They want to win at all costs. It means everything to them. It’s team-first,” Licht said today during his press conference from the Scouting Combine. “Leadership – he happens to be a very explosive athlete as well. As you can tell by the way I’m talking right now, I hold him in very high regard and his future is very bright.”
Alexander finished his rookie campaign away from the team as he served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Many, including former head coach Lovie Smith, mentioned countless times on how his absence was felt during their final four games of the season.
Alexander has already left a lasting footprint on the team. And as they move forward with him, players and coaches will continue to speak highly of they’re talented defensive signal caller.