San Francisco linebacker Kwon Alexander is a Pro Bowl-caliber player when healthy, but he hasn’t been of late and was limited to just eight games last year with the Niners. Here are Alexander’s odds at Mybookie
to win 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as well as the 49ers’ over/under win total.Alexander would prove to a be fourth-round steal in the 2015 draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Alexander finished his rookie year with 93 combined tackles (59 solo), nine pass deflections, three sacks, and two interceptions in 12 games and starts.His best season was in 2016 when Alexander ranked fourth in the league in tackles with 145 combined (108 solo). He also had seven pass deflections, three sacks, and an interception. In 2017, he was Pro Bowl alternated and in 2018 he was very good in six games before suffering a torn ACL.With the Buccaneers, he started in all 46 games in which he appeared and registered 380 tackles, 22 passes defensed, 7.0 sacks, six interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Since 2015, he was one of four players in the NFL to register at least 300 tackles, 6.0 sacks and six interceptions (Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly and Harrison Smith).By all accounts, Alexander was a beloved member of the Bucs locker room and the leader of the team’s defense. Despite coming off a major injury, the 49ers signed Alexander to a four-year, $54 million deal ahead of the 2019 season. However, in a Halloween win at Arizona, Alexander suffered a torn pectoral muscle and was ruled out the rest of the regular season. In eight games this season, Alexander tallied 34 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception and 0.5 sacks.“Kwon has been great for us this year on the field and as a leader,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said at the time. “I mean you guys can feel (his energy). I think everyone watching it can feel it and our team feels it. That’s how he is on game day, that’s how he is on the practice field. The speed he plays with, he’s been a great addition for us. It’s going to be a tough loss.”However, Alexander did return for the NFC title game win over Green Bay, in which he had two tackles, and the Super Bowl loss to Kansas City, in which he had one. Clearly, he wasn’t quite 100 percent and his snaps were limited. Alexander then had offseason biceps surgery. This will be a make-or-break season for him as another injury-shortened year will surely mean the Niners cut him next winter. Alexander has already restructured his deal. Working in Alexander’s favor is his relative youth. He turns 26 in August. The last time he played a full season was back in 2016Like everyone else in the NFL, Alexander had to adapt to working out at home and staying busy during the quarantine phase of the coronavirus pandemic this offseason.“So I wake up at 6:30 AM every morning just to get myself ready for the Zoom meetings and stuff like that,” he said of his daily routine). We have Zoom meetings around eight, sometimes they have special teams so around 8:25 or something like that. Then we should get done around 9:45, 10. After that, I just get to work after that, go workout and stuff, try and knock it all out. I get two workouts in a day, so I knock that out and try and get some film in during the afternoon and just be chilling the rest of the day. We’re still working though, because we have to get up early in the morning, get that Zoom call in, then we’re just back to a normal schedule after that.”Especially in pass defense, where Pro Football Focus handed Alexander a career-high 81.3 coverage grade last season. San Francisco boasts three excellent pass-coverage linebackers in Alexander, Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. Alexander has a reputation for being a merely OK tackler. Alexander’s elongated injury had one major bonus: prompting Greenlaw into a featured role in which he thrived.