The 2019 NFL draft is loaded with big bodied wide receivers from big schools that will have a chance to separate themselves at the NFL scouting combine.
But teams and fans alike would be wise not to overlook Alex Wesley, a speedy and explosive play maker that will be representing Northern Colorado at this month’s Senior Bowl.
Wesley recently spoke exclusively with MCM about why every team in the league could benefit from adding his deep speed to their receiver room, what he’s out to prove in Mobile later this month, and the intricacies of his route running.
JM: Where were you when you found out about your Senior Bowl invite and what was your initial reaction like?
AW: I had just gotten back to Greeley, Colorado. I was getting ready to move all my stuff from my house out there. My agent called me to tell me he had some great news for me. I got the invite in the mail a couple of days later. It was pretty cool. I honestly wasn’t expecting to get the invite so soon. I was thinking I would have to go play in the NFLPA game and have a good showing out there to be considered. I guess they like me (laughs).
JM: What’s the lasting impression you’re hoping to leave on the GM’s and scouts in attendance?
AW: I just want to show everybody that despite the fact that I came from a small school, I have enough talent to play at the next level. It doesn’t mean I’m not ready for what’s next. I reckon I’ll prove that to them.
JM: How does your track-and-field background give you an advantage?
AW: The speed aspect is an obvious one. I play wide receiver and teams are always looking for guys with the type of top end speed that I possess. That obviously relates to my game. I hope they realize the hard work that it takes to get to the level of track that I ran at. It didn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work to accomplish the things that I accomplished in track. I understand what it means to work hard and I’ve applied that to football. I have that in me and I show it every time I hit the field.
Because @CDonScouting did some comps I’ll do some to:— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) December 29, 2018
A.J. Brown -> Quincy Enunwa
Jaylen Smith -> Justin Hunter
Alex Wesley -> Will Fuller
Riley Ridley -> Michael Thomas
Darwin Thompson -> Tarik Cohen
And here’s one: Deebo Samuel -> Stefon Diggs
JM: You averaged 18.4 yards per catch over your past two seasons. Besides the speed which is an obvious component, what is it about your game that creates so many explosive plays?
AW: Last year, my offensive coordinator and the rest of my coaches really let me go out there and run a variety of routes. I got to truly showcase the deep threat that I could be at the next level. I can run across the middle. I can route pretty much any route in the book. I worked on that a lot this summer. My coaches really let me showcase that ability this year. I’m thankful for that.
JM: Do you have a favorite route to run?
AW: It depends on the coverage. If we get cover-4, I like to run a post. That’s one of my favorite routes. I love running a 15 yard route across the middle. It really just depends on what kinda look we get from the defense. If we’re getting man-to-man, I’ll run the streak. I don’t really have a preference. I like certain routes based on the coverage.
JM: Speaking of coverages, how do you prefer to attack press coverage?
AW: It depends what kind of corner I’m playing against. If I’m getting a guy that’s trying to stone me off the line and hold me up, I might hit him with a double move or swipe him with my hands to get by him. If I’m facing a guy that likes to stay off the line, I have to reset the line of scrimmage and attack him that way. It just depends on the cornerback really.
One particular Wide Receiver name stuck out when the @SeniorBowl announced their rosters yesterday: Alex Wesley (@yungwes81) from Northern Colorado. I looked into his background and game, and came away thinking he will be a riser in Mobile #NFLDraft: https://t.co/6IQMYM8fxp— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) December 6, 2018
JM: Is there an NFL cornerback you’re looking forward to squaring off with one day?
AW: Maybe Patrick Peterson (laughs). I watch these guys on Sunday. Hopefully I get a chance to play against some of them. The big name guys who I’ve looked up to throughout my entire career would be my answer. Getting a chance to play against those guys would be pretty special to me.
JM: Which receivers did you look up to growing up, and do you model your game after any of them in particular?
AW: I like to watch Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant. Guys like that. In terms of modeling my game, I wouldn’t say that I model my game after anyone in particular. You see those guys do some things with their route running and you think that maybe you can incorporate some of that into your game. There’s not one guy in particular where I think to myself that I play like that guy. I definitely try and watch those guys and learn from them though.
JM: If you could catch a pass from one NFL quarterback, who would it be and why?
AW: Tom Brady (laughs). He’s one of the most recognizable athletes around the world. He might be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. I’d love to catch a ball from him.
JM: That would be pretty cool. Throughout this draft process, you’ll inevitably be asked about the smaller school competition. Teams are gonna sit you down and bring that up. How do you plan on addressing those concerns?
AW: I think that I went out there every week and dominated the level of competition that I played against. I believe that my film speaks for itself. I’ve played against some big school programs such as TCU and what not. I think that I could have played at any of the big schools and still been a force on the field no matter what. Obviously they’ll get to see me against some stiffer competition at the Senior Bowl. I’ll get my chance to prove myself there.
JM: I love that answer. Thanks for your time tonight, Alex. What can Northern Colorado fans expect from Alex Wesley going forward?
AW: They can expect me to keep running.