Robert Alford, CB, #23
2013 stats: 40 tackles, 8 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble
The selection of Robert Alford in the second round last season was one that sharply divided the fanbase, and man am I using that phrase an awful lot lately.
Many reacted with alarm to the idea of using a second consecutive pick on cornerback, particularly one with whom the word polished was never once associated. Others liked the Alford pick better than Desmond Trufant a round earlier and eagerly awaited his opportunity to show that.
We all know what happened next: Trufant had one of the best rookie seasons for a cornerback in the last five years and has cemented his role as the team's top corner in 2014. Alford got on the field quite a bit later in the season, playing well at times and mediocre at others, but the overall impression I got was of a young corner with towering promise.
That brings us to 2014. Alford should have the inside track to the job opposite Desmond Trufant, and with a year under his belt, I think it's reasonable to expect increases to his 2013 numbers across the board. Whether he'll be on Trufant's level or anywhere close to it is where the debate starts, so that's where you come in.
Project Alford. Uses stats, use his role on the team or a Pro Bowl berth if you like. Just tell us how you think he'll fare in 2014.