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So You've Signed Quinton Alston: A New Owner's Guide

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Congratulations! You've just made the wonderful decision to draft sign Quinton Alston! Like most new Alston owners, you're no doubt filled with questions about your new family member. We here at BHGP will try our best to answer any questions you might have.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

HELLO TAMPA BAY

WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT QUINTON ALSTON?

Alston was forced to wait his turn at Iowa, sitting behind James Morris (an undrafted free agent signing a year ago) for three years before finally getting a shot at the starting MLB job as a senior in 2014.  He racked up a lot of tackles in his one year as the man in the middle of the defense, but part of that is down to the design of Iowa's defense -- it's intended to funnel a lot of tackle opportunities to the middle linebacker.  Alston does the job that's asked of him as a traditional middle linebacker -- he's a physical presence that was at his best defending the run.

WHAT DID HE DO THAT WAS SO GREAT?

As the middle linebacker, the duty of organizing the defense usually fell on Alston and he was solid at that.  Alston also has good power and physicality which made him good at plugging up the middle of the defense.

STATS

YEAR GAMES SOLO ASSIST TOTAL SACKS/YDS TFL/YDS FF FR PASS DEF INT/YDS
2011 6 4 3 7 0 0.5/1 0 0 0 0
2012 10 2 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 13 5 7 12 0 0 0 1 0 0
2014 13 45 49 94 3.5/17 6/23 2 0 5 0
TOTAL 42 56 62 118 3.5/17 6.5/24 2 1 5 0


HOW ARE HIS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES?

Alston's 6-1, 237 lbs, so he has decent size; he certainly looks the part of a middle linebacker.  He's not especially fast, as evidenced by his 4.71 40 time at Iowa's Pro Day and his lateral movement was sometimes a bit sluggish.

PRO DAY RESULTS

WHAT ABOUT THE BAD?

As noted, Alston doesn't have ideal speed or quickness.  He also took poor angles to plays at times and took himself out of plays a little too often, which led to some big gains for opponents.  He struggled to keep up in pass coverage times as well.

WAS THIS A GOOD SIGNING?

Depending on what you're looking for, yes.  Alston is probably at his best in short-yardage or goal line situations when he can use his size and power to plug gaps and bottle up running backs.  He also has some potential to improve, given that he only had one year as a starter at Iowa and could certainly get better with more reps.  He's never going to be a tremendously athletic 'backer, so he'll probably need to have limited coverage responsibilities, but in the right role on the right system, he can help a team.