Alex Stewart, the Cal State Fullerton defensive lineman long on athletic ability and short on experience, was not taken in the first five rounds of the National Football League draft Sunday. The 12-round draft continues today.
Stewart played only one year of Division I football and had only 21 tackles and 17 assists in that brief career, but was predicted by some experts to be a second- or third-round pick on the basis of an outstanding performance at the NFL scouting combines and in two all-star games.
Calling Stewart "a gamble" because of his lack of experience, some experts said he had an outside chance at being drafted in the first round after his performance at the combines, at which players are tested in such areas as vertical leap, the broad jump, the 40-yard dash and the bench press. Stewart, who is 6-feet-4, 268 pounds, had a 38-inch vertical leap, a standing broad jump of 10-feet-5, ran the 40 in 4.65 seconds and bench-pressed 225 pounds 27 times.
Stewart and his brother, Andrew Stewart, a defensive end for the University of Cincinnati, dominated many of those events for defensive linemen, with Andrew edging Alex slightly.
Alex and Andrew watched the draft together in Phoenix Sunday with their agent, Bruce Allen. Andrew's name was called first, but it was not until the fourth round, when he was taken by Cleveland with the 23rd pick of the round and the 107th overall.
Alex Stewart attended Nassau (N.Y.) Junior College, but did not play football there. He was a J.C. Grid-Wire All-American at Fresno City College, and transferred to USC. But Stewart left USC without ever playing a game after Larry Smith replaced Ted Tollner as coach. He played one season at Fullerton, but played in only eight games.