Unlike the normal NFL draft, there was no extravagant, televised event, flashing cameras or cheering fans when Adonis Alexander was notified that he’d be taking his talents to the Washington Redskins via the supplemental draft. Instead, Alexander spent his “draft night” sitting in his room with his mother by his side as he played Fortnite with his former Hokie teammate, Tim Settle. It turns out Alexander wouldn’t need to wait long to meet one of his future teammates. Settle was selected by Washington during the fifth round of the 2018 traditional draft.
“It was exciting to be on Fortnite, getting drafted by the Redskins and be playing Fortnite with my future teammate,” Alexander, a Charlotte native, said.
The Redskins continued their recent draft trend Wednesday when they selected yet another Virginia Tech defensive back, this time taking Alexander during the sixth round of the 2018 supplemental draft. During his three seasons patrolling the back end of the Hokies’ defense, the 6-foot-3, 197-pound Alexander collected seven interceptions while spending time at both cornerback and safety.
After a shaky pro day earlier this summer, in which he ran a 4.6 40-yard-dash, Alexander believes that being reunited with two of his former Virginia Tech teammates — including Redskins’ seventh-round pick Greg Stroman — is exactly what the doctor ordered.
“My teammates, they’ve have been around me, they know exactly the type of person I am,” Alexander told reporters during a teleconference Thursday. “Both of those guys were definitely team leaders and always did the right thing. So I plan on following in their footsteps and the other veteran players and just making the most of this opportunity.”
While being reunited with Settle and Stroman in Washington excites Alexander, the key to his future success may be tied to another reunion. Redskins defensive backs coach Torrian Gray held the same position at Virginia Tech during Alexander’s freshman season in 2015. Alexander had a career year under Gray’s tutelage, earning freshman All-American honors after he recorded 55 tackles, four picks and 10 pass breakups.
“Coach Gray knows exactly how to coach me,” said Alexander, who formally signed with the team Friday.
In addition to being ruled academically ineligible for the 2018 season, which led to his decision to declare for the supplemental draft, Alexander was suspended for the first two games of the 2017 season due to a 2016 arrest for possession of marijuana. He attributes that incident to being young and immature at the time and believes he’s improved his approach to life and the game of football.
“I’ve just become more consistent with doing the right things, became more mature,” Alexander said. “[I started] treating this like a job instead of a hobby.”
The Redskins are invested in that commitment too, after surrendering one of their two 2019 sixth-round draft picks by choosing the corner in the supplemental draft.
The Redskins begin training camp July 26 in Richmond.