‘We’re glad he fell to us’


As usual, the Raiders made one of the most surprising picks of the first round in this year’s draft. At pick No. 17, they selected offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, who most draftniks had in the early to mid-second round. It was a move that shocked the rest of the league, especially with Christian Darrisaw still on the board.

However, the Raiders obviously had a much different grade on the former Alabama offensive tackle. In Jon Gruden’s recent media availability at minicamp, he spoke about Leatherwood and how excited that he fell to them in the first round:

“Well, he’s very smart, very athletic, he’s long. He’s a talented player, that’s why we took him. We had him ranked high on our board. We’re glad he fell to us. We were glad he was there for us. Smart guy, very athletic. He has a lot of experience. We’re counting on him being our starting right tackle.”

For Gruden to mention that they were excited he “fell” to them likely indicates that the Raiders viewed him as one of the best players in the entire class. While we will never know for sure, there is a chance they might have graded him even higher than players like Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater, who both lacked the arm length (and college pedigree) of Leatherwood.

One thing that is abundantly clear is that the Raiders aren’t going to ease Leatherwood into action. Gruden made it known that the right tackle job is his to lose and the team needs him to get as many reps as possible before the start of the season.

Look for Leatherwood to open the season on the right side when the Raiders take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.

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