One of the reasons that Alex Leatherwood was such an appealing player and pick for the Raiders in the first round is due to his experience. The former Alabama left tackle started three years in the SEC and the Raiders believed he would be a plug-and-play option for them at right tackle.
But now that OTAs and minicamps have wrapped up, what has been the overall impression of Leatherwood in practice and at right tackle?
In a recent article by ESPN’s 32 beat writers, they were all asked to give their first impressions of each team’s top draft pick. According to Paul Guiterrez who covers the Raiders, Leatherwood is becoming more comfortable on the right side after an up-and-down start. Here are his thoughts on the No. 17 pick so far:
“Leatherwood looked perhaps a tad uneasy at right tackle at the start of OTAs, maybe because he was a career left tackle at Alabama, where he was a team captain for a national champion and won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best lineman. But by the end of minicamp, he appeared to be settling in as a starter.”
It’s going to take some time for Leatherwood to get used to playing on the right side, but it should be no problem at all given his athleticism, length and work ethic. Expect Leatherwood to steadily improve through the camp and the preseason as he becomes more familiar with the position.