The Las Vegas Raiders selected Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood in the 2021 first round. It was looked at as a reach by most draft pundits who had Leatherwood going in later in the draft.
Leatherwood didn’t help the doubters with his performance on the field. Instead, he struggled at right tackle and was a liability in pass protection. The Raiders moved him inside where he did better in the run game, but fared the same when protecting the QB.
Now, the new regime sees him as a versatile player and expect him to grow at multiple positions. Dave Ziegler gave insight into their plan with the first-round pick.
“I think that one good thing about Alex that not all rookies are afforded the opportunity to do is play a lot of games. And when you get a lot of play time as a rookie, just like any of us in our first year on a job, you learn things that you’re good at, you learn things that you need to improve at, you kind of get exposed to things that you never even thought about. And so I think it’s exciting to have a guy like Alex that’s played a lot of football, and, ultimately, we’ll see where he fits.”
This works well for Leatherwood and gives him an opportunity at multiple positions. The Raiders haven’t tipped off whether it will be playing guard or tackle. However, we know Leatherwood is a player they want to develop.