For the first time since 2009, the Washington Redskins selected a player in the NFL's Supplementary Draft, adding cornerback Adonis Alexander.
Joining an NFL organization this late in the offseason already makes his journey aytpical compared to the majority of players across the league. And unlike many prospects who host parties as they wait for that life-changing phone call, the Virginia Tech product was just having a normal day back home when he found out Washington selected him.
"I was actually in my room with my mom playing a game," Alexander said. "I was playing Fortnite. Actually, I was playing with Tim Settle of the Redskins. So, it was kind of exciting to be on Fortnite and to get drafted by the Redskins and playing Fortnite with my future teammates."
Selecting Alexander gives the Redskins their third Hokie to join the organization this year after selecting Settle and fellow cornerback Greg Stroman in the fifth and seventh round respectively of April's NFL Draft. In addition to the three rookies previous time together in Blacksburg, Va., Washington's defensive backs coach Torrian Gray led the two rookie corners for a portion of their collegiate careers.
"As far as that helping me make the transition it should be a lot of help, a great amount of help," Alexander said. "Coach Gray knows exactly how to coach me. With my teammates, they have been around me. They know exactly the type of person I am. Both of them [Settle and Stroman] were always leaders of the team, they definitely did the right thing so I am going to follow in the footsteps of them and the veteran players and make the most of this opportunity."
Standing at 6-foot-3, Alexander establishes himself as the tallest defensive back amongst Gray's group, which is important in practice when having to go against bigger wide receivers like Josh Doctson and Brian Quick.
His experience playing both safety and cornerback also gives the Redskins flexibility as they try to figure out where the rookie can be successful this season.
As a player that joins the team just two weeks before opening day of training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., Alexander is tasked with the challenge of picking up Greg Manusky's defensive scheme in an incredibly short window. Despite this challenge, the Charlotte native is just looking forward to meeting the rest of the team and learning from other players about how he can become an established player in this league.
"At safety, I feel like my strength is just being an instinctive player," Alexander said after joining the Redskins. "I feel like that's a plus for both of the positions. Being physical would definitely be my strength in playing safety, coming down to tackle and stuff. As for corner, my competitiveness, instincts, like I said, would definitely be a strength at corner because as far as playing corner, it's a one-on-one thing with you and the receiver. I've definitely tried to win everyone at a one-on-one battle."
Check out images of the Washington Redskins' second day of Phase 1 offseason workouts at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
Alexander's adjustment to competing at a professional level should be helped by the veterans like Josh Norman and D.J. Swearinger Sr. After joining Virginia Tech a semester early, the rookie has said he's matured greatly throughout his three seasons with the Hokies.
"I'm very comfortable with them," Alexander said. "This is a golden opportunity for me. Being able to play with Coach Gray, being able to play with former teammates, I feel like it was the best opportunity I could've gotten."