Selected No. 19 overall by the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2021 NFL Draft, offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood was always seen as a reach. While the former Alabama standout played well in college, he was viewed as a tackle/guard tweener leading up to the annual event.
The selction of Leatherwood was seen as another miss from the Raiders’ former regime of head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock. That’s now official.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders have opted to waive Leatherwood after just one season with the team.
Despite Vegas’ issues on the offensive line, new head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler just didn’t see Alex Leatherwood as having a future with the team. That became clear during the preseason when Leatherwood was playing primarily with the second team. Even in that role, the young offensive lineman struggled big time.
Las Vegas Raiders cut ties with first-round bust Alex Leatherwood
Leatherwood started all 17 games for the Raiders as a rookie, posting a 45.0 Pro Football Focus grade in the process. He also yielded a whopping eight quarterback sacks in the process.
It didn’t get any better during the preseason with Leatherwood giving up seven pressures in a mere 62 pass-protection snaps. That’s obviously just not going to cut it.
The Raiders had hoped to trade Leatherwood prior to making his release official. It’s surprising that they couldn’t find a partner given his relatively cheap cost moving forward. This is a clear sign that other teams were in lockstep with the Raiders’ brass about Leatherwood being an outright bust.
For Las Vegas, this creates more depth issues in front of Derek Carr heading into Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Right tackle Brandon Parker is already out for the season. Rookie Thayer Munford should start at that spot once the regular season comes calling. It’s a less than ideal scenario for McDaniels and Co.