Bengals Free Agency

Mackensie Alexander puts the Bengals Secondary Over the Top

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 20: Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates his fourth quarter interception with Mackensie Alexander #20 while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 20, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota won the game 42-30. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 20: Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates his fourth quarter interception with Mackensie Alexander #20 while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 20, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota won the game 42-30. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals are reportedly signing Mackensie Alexander. His addition gives the Bengals one of the best young secondaries in the NFL. 

The Cincinnati Bengals are signing cornerback Mackensie Alexander to a one year, $4M deal, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The move marks the fourth starter the Bengals have added through free agency in the past three days.

Alexander will be expected to step in and man the slot corner position, which is of growing importance as the league is overwhelmed with passing offensive juggernauts.

The former Clemson star, standing at 5’10” and weighing in at 192 pounds, is a tremendous option for the Bengals to replace Darqueze Dennard, who signed with the Jaguars.

He’s a well-rounded player, proving his worth in stopping both the pass and the run. The Bengals clearly had the intent of adding tackling ability to their secondary this off-season, as both Trae Waynes and Alexander are known for their performance in that regard.

Pro Football Focus has given Alexander good grades over the past two years (2018-78.1, 2019-65.7). As he steps into a very talented secondary, expect him to grade out even higher.

The Bengals now look to have their secondary solidified. They have the extremely talented Waynes and William Jackson III to man the outside corner spots, where their burning speed will give the defense the ability to match up against any wide receiver core. Patrolling the back end is Jessie Bates III and Shawn Williams, both offering a unique skill set to give Lou Anarumo weapons to work with.

Now, as previously mentioned, Alexander will man the slot. The 26-year-old adds, even more, youth and speed to a defensive back core that is growing more talented by the day.

Don’t forget about rising star Darius Phillips, who came on late down the stretch last season. He’ll see the field a lot as he continues to develop and absorb information from the cast that surrounds him.

The defense now wields a secondary with an average age of just 25.8 years and an average 40 time of 4.44, giving them one of the youngest and fastest units in the entire NFL.

Related Story. How Reader, Waynes Help Bengals in Battle for AFC North. light

The addition of Alexander has crossed the immediate need for a corner off the list, freeing them up to address other positions in the draft and go the best player available route.

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