Lorenzo Alexander Defensive Grade Through Nine Games:
Lorenzo Alexander is having a season for the ages. Not just because of his age (33), but because of how long he has been in this league and how well he is playing this season. Alexander is the current NFL leader in sacks with 10 total on the year. Coming into this season, he only amassed nine sacks over 10 seasons. That’s right, he has more sacks this year than he had in his 10 years in the league prior.
His stats don’t just end with his impressive sack total. He has 29 tackles, 10 assists, 3 forced fumbles, 2 pass deflections and four runs stuffed for negative nine yards. His three forced fumbles are tied for second in the league with a handful of players and he’s just five tackles short of a career high with plenty of games left to play.
Pro Football Focus currently ranks him as the 19th best edge rusher in the league with a rating of 81.6. On top of his play on defense, he has been one of the Bills top special teams players which is not surprising as his contributions on that unit was the primary reason why they signed the wily vet.
After college, Alexander was 6’1″ and over 300 pounds. He was projected to be a mid-round draft pick but he went undrafted. He bounced around on a few practice squads before finally getting some time with Washington in 2007. They used him as a fullback, an offensive lineman, a defensive lineman and tight end.
In 2010, he was about 285 pounds and made the switch to outside linebacker. He continued to lose weight and would eventually make it down to the 241 pounds that he is currently listed at. That’s an incredible weight loss of over 60 pounds since college while trying out five different positions in the NFL in addition to special teams.
His ability to transform his body and to adapt to whatever position a coach has asked him to play is part of the reason for his longevity in the league. He deserves every last bit of the success he is having this season and has been quite possibly the best story in the NFL this year.
“Zo” has been an absolute beast this season and his twitter moniker “OneManGang” couldn’t describe his play this season any better. If we could give out a grade higher than an “A+” we would but since that’s our top grade, that’s all we can give Alexander.
On the next slide, we’ll grade Leger Douzable who was another under the radar signing for the Buffalo Bills this offseason.