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Introducing Robert Alford: The Arizona Cardinals’ Newest Linebacker

Robert Alford is a cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals. He was drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, and has been a starter since the first game of his rookie season. In his rookie year, he learned from fellow cornerback Patrick Peterson who helped prepare him for playing time as a professional. In 2016, Alford signed a four-year extension with the team.

In this post, we’re going to introduce you to Alford and detail some of his career achievements. This way not only will you know who he is, but also what he does on and off the field.

Introduction

Robert Alford is an undrafted player. In 2013, he was selected in the 5th round of the NFL Draft. In his first two seasons, he was a starting cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons. In his third year, he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. He was a starting cornerback for the team until Week 16 in 2017.

You can read more about his background in a profile here.

Career Highlights

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If you’re like us, you have been watching a lot of football during the preseason. So we decided to give you a good reference of his stats. He has had some good games and some bad ones, but for the most part he has been consistent.

A brief history of Robert Alford

Robert Alford was born in Covington, Georgia, in 1994. He played college football at South Carolina, and was a redshirt freshman when the 2013 NFL draft took place. He was projected to be a late first or early second round pick, but was passed over because of off-the-field issues. Although he showed promise at South Carolina, Alford was dismissed from the team in August of 2013. He was arrested and charged with marijuana possession in 2011. And after missing the entire 2012 season, he was also charged with shoplifting in 2013.

However, Alford persevered. He worked out for various teams over the next year and a half, and by the 2016 draft, he was still without a team. But he found his calling in the new league when the Atlanta Falcons drafted him 59th overall in the sixth round.

Career statistics

The 26-year-old Alford has been selected to five Pro Bowls. During the 2016 season, he had a total of 49 tackles, three interceptions and 18 passes defended. Last year, Alford was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second straight season.

In the 2016 season, the St. Louis Rams elected not to re-sign Alford, making him a free agent. The Atlanta Falcons were immediately interested in signing the cornerback. He signed a five-year, $68 million deal, including $32.5 million in guarantees. This deal put Alford among the top five highest paid cornerbacks in the NFL.

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Alford is a very versatile player. He started his career at cornerback, but moved to the slot corner position last season. He can play inside or outside the field. He was also a solid kick and punt returner.

Awards and accolades

Alford received his first recognition in 2013, when he received an all-rookie first-team selection by the Pro Football Writers of America. He also received first-team All-Rookie honors. In 2014, he was named to the Pro Bowl. During the 2016 season, he was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time, being selected as an injury replacement. In 2017, Alford was selected to his second Pro Bowl, as a replacement, but this time as a starter.

Who is Robert Alford?

Born and raised in Seffner, Florida, Robert Alford attended Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. He was a two-time all-conference performer and had 48 career pass breakups. In his senior year, he intercepted four passes, returning two for touchdowns.

What does he do when he’s not playing football?

Well, according to Alford, the things he does are as diverse as he is. He says he is a huge fan of spending time with his friends and family and has a lot of fun whenever he gets the chance to get out and enjoy his life.

He even has a lot of passion for the basketball court. “I’m a basketball guy. I just play basketball all the time,” he said.

As for his downtime, Alford says he likes to watch movies. He also loves to travel and makes frequent trips to the mountains to enjoy the scenery, especially the outdoors.

Why did he decide to attend college in the United States?

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He actually had no choice in the matter. He was originally born in Nigeria, where he was raised, but was granted a student visa to pursue a degree at the University of West Georgia.

What does he do on the field?

He’s a starting cornerback for the Cardinals and has made 14 starts in his career.

His key strength is his ability to cover well. According to Pro Football Focus, Alford gives up the fewest amount of yards on targets when targeted this year. He gave up 42 yards in his coverage against Eli Manning in Week 11.

Another strength is his versatility. In addition to being a cornerback, he’s also played free safety for the Cardinals. For a cornerback, he has good size (6’1, 204 pounds). He has outstanding instincts and can diagnose routes well. He isn’t just a guy who goes up and makes a play, he makes the play that the offense is trying to get to him. He’s also a very good tackler.

Ranking third on the team in pass deflections (8), he’s also adept at intercepting the ball.

Conclusion

This post was meant to be about how Robert Alford became a quality NFL player, but it is more likely you already know how that all happened. However, if you’re new to the sport and don’t know much about it, this post can be used as a tool to learn about some of the more basic concepts of playing it.

Hopefully, you have learned a thing or two about the NFL and how the sport is played. If not, this is a good place to learn about what you can expect from the pros, what they are thinking, and how to be a football fan.

Author’s Note: If you are interested in learning more about Robert Alford, you can check out this article that explains a lot of his story and how he became so good at the position he plays.

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