STRENGTHS: Versatile inside linebacker with potential to play either middle linebacker (in a 4-3 or 3-4 base defense) or outside linebacker (in a 4-3). Attacks that blocker with the correct shoulder, and powerful hands. Moves forward quickly. Times his blitzes well. Fast enough to keep up with running backs on quick swings in the flats. Shows good awareness when asked to drop into a variety of different coverage situations. High effort player who has a motor that is constantly running. Flashes quick penetrating ability at the goal line, stays tight to the A gap and wraps up. Attacks with intensity.
WEAKNESSES: Likely limited to solely an A-gap blitzer due to a lack of bend and ability to change angles. Runs into the back of defensive linemen when closing the line of scrimmage quickly rather than splitting a gap or lane. Impact to jar blockers on first contact at the second level is lacking. A bit tentative between the tackles, especially against a lead blocker. Misdirection trips him up due to lack of quick twitch change of direction. Loses sight of quarterback in coverage, turns to look at the receiver. Takes himself out of plays with wasted movement, often guessing on where the ball is going.
NFL COMPARISON: Ben Leber
BOTTOM LINE: Off-field problems and injuries kept Alonso from making his expected impact until into his junior season, but once he got past those two alcohol-related incidents and a torn right ACL, opponents began feeling his presence. Alonso is a bit of a linear athlete, but he still remains an explosive one. He could potentially fit into many different roles at the next level. Will fit best into an aggressive scheme as an OLB. If not a future starter, he should be capable of becoming a nickel 'backer that has special teams value.
I like Alonso. Had him going to the Pats later in round two. His strengths are basically Shep's weaknesses. He'll fit in well as long as he's protected in the 3-4. I would have preferred corner though.