The Raiders are going into their first preseason game of the year on Thursday and one player that is expected to take the field is Alex Leatherwood. After a rocky rookie season, Leatherwood is now firmly in a camp battle for a starting spot on the offensive line with Brandon Parker.
After a few weeks of practice, it’s fair to say that Parker is ahead of Leatherwood right now. While Leatherwood has seen a lot of first-string reps, he’s also practiced with the second and third-team more often than Parker.
In a recent article by Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus, he named one player for every team that is under the most pressure for the 2022 season. For the Raiders, that was none other than Leatherwood. Here is what Kyed had to say about the former SEC star:
“Leatherwood was selected 17th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft but now isn’t guaranteed a starting spot in Las Vegas’ offense. He must earn that role and prove he was worth the first-round pick.
The new regime in Las Vegas isn’t tied to Leatherwood, a Jon Gruden/Mike Mayock pick, but one person within the organization was encouraged by his progress this offseason.”
If Leatherwood is unable to win a starting job this year for the Raiders, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team cut their losses and moved on from him via trade before the season starts. But, they are still hopeful he can win the starting job at right tackle.
With a strong performance tonight in the Hall of Fame game, he might be able to jump Brandon Parker on the depth chart. Needless to say, this is a huge opportunity for the second-year tackle from Alabama.