You can count on two things when Kwon Alexander is playing in space.
He will see the ball, and he will get in position to make a play.
Those two traits have been in short supply for the Saints at linebacker this season outside of Demario Davis. The rest of the players have been inconsistent, which is why on Monday, the Saints sent a conditional fifth-round pick and Kiko Alonso to the San Francisco 49ers for Alexander.
Shortly after making the trade, coach Sean Payton said Alexander would compete with Alex Anzalone for snaps at weakside linebacker. Davis will continue to play in the middle. The Saints rarely play with three linebackers on the field, but Zack Baun has been filling that role when it arises.
Alexander is a talented player with high-level traits. When everything is clicking for him, there isn't much he can't do. He sees the field well, reacts in space and has the speed and range to close quickly to make a play. One of the things that immediately stood out when evaluating his snaps from the 2019 season was his ability to recognize and cover bootleg plays against the Packers. The New Orleans linebackers got beat by the same concepts repeatedly earlier this season.
New Orleans made a move to improve its defense by acquiring the linebacker from the 49ers ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline.