Alabama in the Pros

Levi Wallace grades out top rookie cornerback for Pro Football Focus

© Rich Barnes - USA TODAY Sports

His father would be mighty proud. 

Walter Wallace had a dream of playing football at the University of Alabama, but it was son – Levi – that ended up fulfilling the dream. In honor of his dad, the young Wallace demonstrated the characteristics of toughness, hard work and persistence as he went from being a walk-on to accepting a scholarship in 2016.

In growing up before the eyes of Crimson Tide fans, Wallace was integral in the team’s run to a College Football Playoff national title in 2017. 

He shut down the left side of a football field, collecting a team-high 15 pass breakup and three interceptions as a senior. Wallace chimed in with 48 total tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. He accounted for a multi-interception game against Mississippi, with one of his picks being returned for a touchdown in Alabama’s 66-3 win.

Despite not being selected through seven rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, the former walk-on earned a spot on the Buffalo Bills.

RELATED: Former Alabama cornerback Levi Wallace called to Bills’ active roster

He toiled on the practice squad for a while, until the Bills activated him to its 53-man roster in the middle of November. Wallace totaled 38 tackles as a rookie and turned in 32 during the month of December. He tied his season-high of eight stops on Dec. 30 against Miami, helping Buffalo secure a 42-17 victory.

While the franchise needs to add a few more pieces if it wants to be a perineal playoff team, Wallace is starting to earn national recognition. 

According to Pro Football Focus, a website that dives into the analytics of both college and professional football, Wallace was graded out as the NFL’s top rookie cornerback for 2018. 

His late-season surge earned him a grade of 83.5, which was higher than both Denzel Ward of the Cleveland Browns and Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers among others.  

Buffalo finished this season at 6-10, but its future is bright with Wallace.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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