Leatherwood is poised to continue Alabama's NFL pipeline of offensive linemen
Alabama has produced an impressive number of quality offensive linemen during Nick Saban's tenure and offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood is next up in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Originally a guard, Leatherwood moved outside and became a unanimous All-American last season while also winning the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation's best interior lineman. His combination of size and collegiate pedigree should help him find a home in the pros.
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Alex Leatherwood Draft Profile
Leatherwood made the jump from right guard as a sophomore to left tackle for his final two seasons, and he has the length and movement skills to hold his own on the outside at the next level. He’s at his best in the run game, where he’s excellent on the move on outside-zone runs, and he shows a great feel for passing off and climbing to the second level. He also has the power to generate push at the line of scrimmage. He has the nimble feet teams look for in a left tackle, and on his good days, he proved capable of handling anyone when pass protecting on an island.
He’s still a work in progress on the outside, and it will be up to teams to decide whether or not he’ll get more comfortable with more reps. Despite his prototypical athleticism and length, there were too many times when he looked unsure with his hands and segmented in his overall movements, his upper and lower halves operating out of sync. He got away with it against collegiate competition, but his technique will have to become much more refined at the NFL level.
He could probably move back inside if needed, where he’d be an excellent prospect. A good position coach could unlock star potential at either tackle spot, though.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round