Adonis Alexander wound up in the NFL Supplemental Draft due to some off-field transgressions in college. He vowed not to be tripped up by similar issues at the professional level.
Alexander, who was taken by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of Wednesday's supplemental draft, said he will not repeat the same mistakes that he did at Virginia Tech.
Academic issues led to the defensive back's dismissal from the school in May. Alexander also was suspended twice by the Hokies, including once for a marijuana-related charge in 2016.
"I have definitely used it as a learning tool," said Alexander via the Redskins' official website. "I definitely made some mistakes at Virginia Tech but I'm using those -- just learning from them. Using them to help form a better character, form myself as a man.
"I'm trying to benefit from the things I did in the past in a good way."
While Alexander played both cornerback and safety at Virginia Tech, his lack of straight-line speed -- he was clocked in 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day -- may translate more to safety in the NFL.
"I think I can definitely add another ball hawking defender," said Alexander. "They already have a lot of great DBs there but, just adding depth. I feel like I can add a lot to the special teams, also ... a hard-nosed defender, passionate player, great teammate, physical presence."
The 6-foot-2, 196-pound Alexander has the long arms and tapered, athletic frame scouts are looking for and he accelerates smoother on the field than his clocked time suggests, according to NFLDraftScout.com, which termed him more of a downhill thumper than a true cover safety.
Alexander said he had no preference for either position with Washington, although he assessed his own positives in the defensive backfield.
"At safety, I feel like my strength is just being an instinctive player. I feel like that's a plus for both of the positions," said Alexander. "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."