As a freshman in 2003, Alford had 25 tackles for loss, 2.5 for loss, with a sack. He followed that up with a similar sophomore season in which he finished with 24/3.5/1.5. Alford put it all together as a junior however, earning All Big 10 2nd team honors, after posting a career high 37 tackles, 11.5 for loss, with 8.5 sacks. Alford had another standout campaign as a senior, ending the year with 30 tackles, 12.5 for loss, and eight sacks.
Alford is an excellent penetrator on the interior line. He shows great quickness off the snap, and the ability to slip through the line on a consistent basis and disrupt plays. Not only has he shown the ability to bring down the ball carrier, but he has shown the ability to close and finish on the quarterback. He shows the toughness to constantly battle and is always trying to fight through the block and get to the action.
If Alford doesn’t beat you off the snap, he is virtually non existent in the play. Although he plays hard, he simply lacks the bulk and strength at the point of attack to hold up and get off blocks. He is a one dimensional penetrator and will not fit in every defense.
Jay Alford is a great fit for a team looking for a player that can shoot the gaps, but he will still need to bulk up no matter what scheme he is in. He has the talent to be a factor as a penetrator if he lands with the right team.