One of the more underrated signings for the Cardinals during free agency was of Lorenzo Alexander from the Washington Redskins. While in DC, Alexander was primarily used as a linebacker that played special teams, was very effective at it, and could give the starting linebackers a breather when needed.
Now that he is in Arizona, Alexander could be primed for a much larger role. In fact, he could become one of the team's starting outside linebackers.
Sounds like Bruce Arians would like to use LB Lorenzo Alexander on the outside linebacker, could play all 3 downs at linebacker. #PassRusher— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) March 16, 2013
We don't know when O'Brien Schofield is going to be completely ready to go after injuring his ankle during week 10 of last season against the Packers. As for Sam Acho, he struggled a bit in 2012 and could be headed for more of a situational job. Alexander could replace either of them.
Alexander played both inside and outside linebacker in Washington, but his pass rushing stats as an outside linebacker were mixed. In 177 pass rushing attempts, Alexander recorded three sacks, nine QB hits and 12 hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.
Compare those numbers with Acho, who rushed the passer 384 times and came away with four sacks, nine hits and 21 hurries. When prorated, Alexander's numbers are far superior. The question is, can Alexander maintain that sort of consistency with a greater amount of snaps?
Either way, I would be in favor of at least seeing what Alexander can do as a pass rusher during the preseason. This position is one that the Cardinals definitely need help at and the soon-to-be 30-year-old could provide that spark at OLB.
What do you think? Alexander as an every down player at outside linebacker? Who should he replace? Tell us in the comments section below.