Alex Leatherwood NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Las Vegas Raiders OT

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2021

Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (70) prepares to block against Notre Dame during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

 6'4 ¾"




—Very good play strength, initial explosiveness and heavy hands

—Quickly cycles through dual reads, line games and stunts

—Solid anchor against the bull rush; does a nice job sinking in his hips, cutting grass with the insteps of his feet and halting momentum

—Effective snatch/trap technique to counter rushers who set up their moves using a long arm

—Powerful run-blocker on down and angle-drive blocks with good athletic ability to pull and lead around the edge

—Excellent technique as a backside run-blocker to stay square, get his second step in the ground, cover up and cut off 4- and 3-techniques

—Consistent finisher with a physical, rugged playing style



—Heavy reliance on his outside hand in pass protection leaves little margin for error, creating a soft corner and leaving him vulnerable to pass-rushers who have a refined cross-chop technique

—Angles and aiming points off combo blocks and double-teams to the second level tend to be either too narrow or wide, resulting in him getting grabby on his fit

—Gap exchanges and post-snap DL movement can catch him off guard and gain penetration



13 starts. Finished with a 91.5 average overall blocking grade by the Alabama coaching staff and 99.7 on assignments (tied for the team lead). Played 832 snaps during the 2020 season and has allowed only two sacks. Missed only three assignments and committed just five penalties. Surrendered just three quarterback hurries and four pressures.



—2020 Joe Moore Award winner, given to the nation's best offensive line unit

—Finished career with 48 appearances and 41 consecutive starts (26 at LT, 15 at RG)

—2020 first-team All-SEC by the AP and coaches

—2020 first-team All-American by AP, ESPN, FWAA, USA Today, Sporting News and CBS Sports

—2020 Outland Trophy winner

—Training for the draft with Duke Manyweather at Michael Johnson Performance in Mckinney, Texas



Leatherwood has a muscular, athletic build with good thickness throughout his frame and a rugged, physical playing style. He has very good athletic ability, consistently anchors against the bull rush and creates easy movement in the running game. He can also pull, lead and track down smaller targets around the edge effectively.

He needs to add variance to his hand techniques as a pass protector to avoid becoming too reliant on using his outside hand to initiate contact, which makes him vulnerable to the cross chop as well as inside-out stutters. In the run game, he needs to clean up his aiming points and angles working off combo blocks to better locate and fit on second-level defenders.

Leatherwood has the play strength, athletic ability and competitive toughness to develop into a high-end starter but has concerning technique issues in pass protection that need to be addressed first.


GRADE: 7.9/10 (Round 2)





Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn


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