The Steelers are hosting linebacker Kwon Alexander on a visit on Monday, and as another option for the team at inside linebacker, he offers a few intriguing possibilities. First, what does Alexander even bring to the table that could be different or an upgrade on the guys they have right now?
After the team signed Elandon Roberts, Cole Holcomb, and Tanner Muse all in the same offseason, the only true holdover from last season is Mark Robinson. Alexander would take up one of the two remaining roster spots that the team has at this point after three signings over the past day.
Alexander, at this stage in his career, is a grizzled veteran that could be described as a jack of all trades but a master of none. The biggest issue has been his health, so the medicals need to check out. Still, Alexander is coming off his first season since 2016 after playing in all 17 games in the 2022 season. That is a much-needed boost to the stock of his medicals and could see him sign if those check out.
Truth be told, Kwon Alexander feels like a dart to throw at the board since Pittsburgh has failed to really lockdown this position over the past through years over any method. Alexander does bring great leadership in the NFL at only 28 years old, so it’s entirely possible he has a few good years ahead of him as long as he stays on the football field.
The question that everyone will ask is if Alexander could be the coverage LB the team needs. I’m not sure, at this stage in his career, if that’s close to his best trait. But the experience is there, as he was tasked with playing in man coverage with the Jets and 49ers throughout his career. With San Francisco, he ended up being one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL in 2019, but he has not reached a peak in coverage like that since.
But he does have more experience being that sub-package guy than any of the other linebackers on the team. I would not be shocked to see him be the dime linebacker if signed. So, for the Steelers, one of the good things about this potential move is to get someone that has experience in that role. Alexander has proven to be solid in zone coverage and short areas, especially when coming up to play the dump-offs on running backs floating out of the backfield.
He’s not as athletic as he once was out there on the field. Alexander has done just about everything you could ask from an inside linebacker in his NFL career, and he’s not horribly deficient in any one area. He can get off blocks and likes to lay the wood, which seems to be something of a plan that the Steelers are building in the ILB room at this point. There will be some missed tackles and other plays when he gets caught in the trash. Alexander will get beat in man coverage when asked to do that.
Though, I think he can be good enough to stabilize the position in a rotation with Holcomb and Roberts. His experience at all of those spots combined with his intangible leadership to defense is a boost for a team that probably needs something else in that room to really round it out. If signed, I would not be surprised if Alexander is a solid option that gives you a rather consistent level of play at just that, solid.