Whoever takes over the Las Vegas Raiders will have several major decisions to make. Deciding what to do with Alex Leatherwood should be at the top of that list.
When Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock decided to draft Alex Leatherwood last April ahead of more proven college tackles, the NFL world was buzzing. The pick was universally condemned as a reach. While it was only his rookie season, those pundits were proven correct last year.
The question now becomes what to do with the Alabama product in his sophomore campaign and, more importantly, what to do with the Raiders’ interior offensive line.
Fast forward to this offseason and Gruden is out of the league and Mayock has been jettisoned out of Vegas. The incoming administration will have the dubious distinction of trying to validate Leatherwood’s selection. In other words, they can’t bench him as that would indicate the pick was a bust. It’s too soon for that, quite frankly.
The Raiders would be best served by keeping Leatherwood as a guard and, with the right coaching, could end up grooming him into a top-tier starter.