Cardinals Draft Q&A: Alex Fletcher

Stanford's Alex Fletcher boasts impassable versatility. He started 24 games at center and 20 at guard. As luck would have it, the Cardinals are in the market for both. Fletcher's adaptability and athleticism make scouts do a double-take. Cardinals' scouts attended his game against USC back before the New Year. AZRedReport.com caught up with him at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Do you feel that you have the versatility to play on the interior of the line?

I think that I could play any position, left guard, center, right guard without skipping a beat. I mean that's something I've done at Stanford, that's something I feel that I've done effectively. And hopefully I'll continue to do that.

How many teams have you talked to so far?

I've pretty much spoken with every team and that's something we talked about, is versatility. It's something I've proven that I've been able to do.

Have teams talked to you about all the different coaching staffs that you've had? Have they talked about how that helped you or hurt you?

That's all part of the process. Those questions come up like, "what do you regret most about going to that college" and that kind of stuff. It was always losing so many games and never going to a bowl game. Another question was "what did I do to counter that?"

My response to that was always, no matter what happened whether we were down by 40 or up by 10, it's always having that same positive attitude always come back on Monday, Tuesday to practice and pick up and keep fighting. I think one thing I learned from Stanford is that no matter what adverse conditions happen, you always have to come back and fight. And I think that's something they see and that they've picked up on and it's something that can help me on and off the field.

What are your general expectations for the Combine?

When I went into this, it's obviously a strong center class. You have to go in there and be humble about the process. But when I look at my game and look at obviously the way I played, I think that the versatility factor is something that teams have taken notice of. And playing so many games at guard and playing so many games at center, and in the middle of the games going from guard to center, center to guard, is something that these teams really appreciate. I think that, am I a straight center? No, am I a straight guard? No. And I think when I am going and talking to these teams, I am talking to them as a versatile player. And I think not being pin-pointed and pinned at one position, has definitely helped me. And it's definitely something that I talk about all the time with these teams.

What is your preference?

It's whatever I played last. And I played center this past year, so I am more comfortable at center right now. Last year, I would have told you I'd be more comfortable at right guard. It's just what I've played and what I've practiced last.


Alex Fletcher
(Scout.com)

When you've gone from center to guard, talk about the adjustments.

The big thing is, it's a mental adjustment. But at the end of the day, when you are playing guard and you're setting a three technique, there's nothing at center physically like that. There's nothing like being one-on-one all the time. And I think that if you are strictly a center and you're pinned down as a center, I mean how does someone know you can do that?

And that's my biggest thing, there is such a difference physically between playing center and guard. And there is such a demand, center you always have help. You are surrounded, you are in a telephone booth. You always have help and maybe sometimes you don't but rarely. In every combination you are working with a guard. As a guard, a lot of the times you are one-on-one and it's time to go. And I think that's something easy to say if you are a center that you can do it, but it's a lot easier said than done.

What do you think you will bring to the team that drafts you?

We talked about versatility; I think that's something that I'll bring to a team. I think being a leader, going out there and working hard. And I don't think I'll bring any off the field problems and going out there and just be the best teammate I can possibly be and be the best football player I can possibly be and shut my mouth and work. And that's something I've done and something I will do.

What do you think out of your skill set is going to translate best to the pros?

I think I have a pretty solid all-around game. At the pro level it's hard to be dominant at run block, it's hard to be a dominant pass blocker, I think I can be a pretty sound at everything and a pretty sound consistent player.

Favorite team growing up?

New York Giants. I grew up in Long Island New York.


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