April 29, 2006
Jon Alston became the first Cardinal chosen in the 2006 NFL Draft today when he was selected in the third round by the St. Louis Rams. Alson, a 6-1, 224-pound outside linebacker from Shreveport, LA, was the 77th pick overall. Alston was a four-year letter-winner for Stanford and one of the top linebackers in the Pac-10 the past two seasons.
Stanford has several players expected to hear their name called during the second day of the draft, most notably DE Julian Jenkins and NT Babatunde Oshinowo. The NFL Draft will continue on Sunday with rounds four-seven.
Throughout his career, Alston was one of the Cardinal's top defensive weapons. He had 29 tackles for loss and 21 sacks in his career while earning the reputation as one of the best pass rushers in the conference. He was named Second-Team All-Pac-10 as a junior in 2004 and honorable mention as a senior last year. Following his senior season, Also was selected by his teammates as the Al Masters Award winner for the "player displaying the highest degree of leadership and respect of teammates."
Alston, a Public Policy major at Stanford, started all 22 games for the Cardinal in 2004 and 2005.
Throughout his career and during the scouting combines, Alston earned the repulationn as a good athlete who would develop into a starting linebacker in the NFL. Below is his profile from NFL.com:
"Alston is a good athlete with the quick feet, agility and flexibiity to make plays consistently out in space -- he can bend his knees, sink his hips and adjust and tackle well. When he has a clear path to the ball, he has good playing speed chasing plays down and making tackles in pursuit. He is a very smart football player who consistently handles his assigments -- he maintains good position, takes on the lead blocker strong at the point of attack and forces the play back inside where his teammates can make the tackle. He does a good job dropping off the ball into zone coverage, reads the quarterback/pass well, closes on passes in front of him and makes hard hits right after the ball gets to the receiver. He has experience rushing the passer as a blitzer and when he lines up at defensive end in passing situations and will be a good pass rusher in the NFL. Overall, Alston is the type of linebacker who often gets overlooked because he is not flashy and does not make big, impact plays. But he is a good athlete who is consistently in good position, does his job well and is versatile enough to make plays vs. the run, dropping into coverage and rushing the quarterback. In the end, Alston will eventually develop into a solid and versatile starting linebacker in the NFL."