By Max Moorman
Sports Capital Journalism Program
INDIANAPOLIS — The National Football League Scouting Combine is where the best players in college football come to show off their skills and show NFL scouts why they should be drafted. One of those players is an offensive lineman out of Humboldt State in Arcata, California, a school that has not had a player drafted by a NFL team since 1991. Alex Cappa is one of four Division II players here this week. “I’m really just here to show that I can play with anybody,” he said.
Just over a month ago, Cappa shot up draft boards after a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. and a solid performance in the game. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network has said that Cappa had the “nastiest film” he has ever seen.
When you ask Cappa what his style of play is, he answers with one word: Physical. He tends to finish plays by throwing defenders to the ground, but he will help that defender back up after the play. Weighing in at 305 pounds and coming in just under 6 feet, 7 inches, it’s not very surprising that he is throwing defenders around.
“To me, that’s just the way football is played,” Cappa said. “You want to be a dominant player, you want to be physical.”
He also said this: “It’s fun, too.”
The analysis of Cappa on the website NFL.com reads: “At times, will default to pure mauling over technique.”
But the site projects Cappa as a fifth-round draft choice. When asked where Cappa would want to play if drafted into the league, his response was, “Wherever they want me. It really doesn’t matter to me.”
He played left tackle at Humboldt State, and also played left guard at the Senior Bowl. He just likes to have a good time. As a fan of acting and improv, he enjoys his time outside of football. While at the Senior Bowl, during a drill that required lineman to juggle two tennis balls while staying in a blocking stance, Cappa asked for three. He juggled the three tennis balls and completed the drill, while many top prospects struggled with two.
Humboldt State was the only school interested in Cappa at the end of a high school career that included just one season as an offensive lineman. After redshirting as a freshman, Cappa started in each of his team’s 43 games from the 2014 through 2017 seasons.
In each of those four college seasons, he was named Offensive Lineman of the Year and a first-team all-conference player in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. He was asked about if he ever thought of transferring to a higher level school. “I’m not the kind of guy who likes to flip flop,” he said. “I said I would play at Humboldt State, and that’s what I wanted to do.